Russian lawyers published an open letter in support of their colleague from Krasnodar, Mikhail Benyash, who was stripped of his legal status earlier in February. The letter addressed to the President of the Federal Chamber of Lawyers (FPA) Svetlana Volodina has now been signed by 93 people.
In their appeal, they demand “an end to the persecution of lawyer Mikhail Benyash and the violation of his professional rights,” as well as “an end to the use of the Lawyer’s Code of Professional Ethics as a repressive tool aimed at fighting objectionable lawyers.”
The Chamber of Lawyers of the Krasnodar Territory deprived Benyash of his status following a disciplinary investigation initiated by the Ministry of Justice. The reason for it was the publications on the lawyer’s Telegram channel, which, according to the department, “discredit the civil service, as well as employees of executive authorities.” Earlier, in October, the lawyer was included in the register of individuals-foreign agents.
In 2018, a criminal case was opened against Benyash for violence against a police officer. According to OVD-Info, a lawyer who tried to get to the detainees at a rally against raising the retirement age was beaten by the police. Later, he was accused of hitting one of the police officers and biting the second. Benyash was found guilty and fined.
In 2022, they tried to prosecute the lawyer under an administrative article on discrediting the army, but later the case was closed. In March, Benyash's house was searched in connection with a case of telephone terrorism, later declared illegal.