Commissioner calls attention to procedural defects in the Davydova case

02 February 2015

On 2 February, Commissioner for Human Rights in the Russian Federation Ella Pamfilova sent an official letter of appeal to Director of the Federal Security Service Alexander Bortnikov and Prosecutor General of Russia Yury Chayka with a request to consider changing the pre-trial restrictions for Svetlana Davydova accused of treason.

Without going into details of the accusations and interfering in the investigation, nevertheless, the Russian Human Rights Commissioner acting on the basis of her competence calls attention to the obvious procedural defects in the chosen pre-trial restriction measures. The letter says that when deciding the detention conditions of Ms Davydova, a mother of many children, of Vyazma town, the officials "displayed formal approach" and the important factors characterising personality of the accused were not taken into consideration.

"The fact that the mother of many children under arrest has a two-month child who is requiring breast feeding and is being deprived of this vital need is a matter of deep concern. As a result, health and psychological state of the mother and her newborn daughter are being exposed to various risks," the appeal says.

In this context, Ms Pamfilova requests to check the arguments, completeness and legitimate character of the implemented measures of child care, as well as to consider the possibility of replacing the current Svetlana Davydova’s measure of restraint with a milder one, not related to custody.

For reference: on 21 January 2015, mother of many children Svetlana Davydova was arrested on charges of espionage. On 22 January 2015, Lefortovsky District Court of Moscow chose custody in a remand centre as a measure of restraint.

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