Russia: release of Khodorkovsky associate Lebedev welcome but 'no substitute for justice'
‘The piecemeal releases of people who were imprisoned for peacefully exercising their right to freedom of expression is no substitute for an effective justice system’ - John Dalhuisen
Amnesty International has welcomed today’s decision by Russia’s Supreme Court to release the jailed businessman and prisoner of conscience Platon Lebedev, a business associate of the former oil magnate Mikhail Khodorkovsky.
Lebedev’s sentence was due to expire in May, but today’s decision reduces his sentence to the time he has already spent in prison. However, the decision does not quash Lebedev’s conviction or remedy the injustice done to him.
Meanwhile, today’s release still leaves other prisoners of conscience behind bars in Russia as the Winter Olympics in Sochi approach.
Amnesty International Europe and Central Asia Director John Dalhuisen said:
“Platon Lebedev was confined to prison as a result of a deeply-flawed and politically-motivated trial.
“The piecemeal releases of people who were imprisoned for peacefully exercising their right to freedom of expression is no substitute for an effective justice system.
“The Russian authorities must release immediately and unconditionally all prisoners of conscience and remove the charges from those already at liberty.”
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