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On pressure on the witnesses in the case of Farid Babayev, the murdered leader of the Dagestan YABLOKO

Statement by the Bureau of the YABLOKO party
May 20, 2010

The YABLOKO party has been closely following the trial on the murder of Farid Babayev, the leader of the Dagestan YABLOKO and a human rights activist.

On June 4, 2009, the Penal Chamber of the Supreme Court of Russia abrogated the previous decision of the Jury and a sentence passed against Rasil Mamedrizayev and Seferali Sefemerzoyev and returned the case to another trial by a new composition of the Jury. It is expected that a new sentence against the culprits will be passed soon.

The YABLOKO party has several times expressed its concern over open pressure applied by the interested side to the witnesses and the Jury , and consequently they either changed or refused from their previous testimony against the culprits.

Thus, during the first trial the key witness who had seen one of the culprits – Mamedrizayev – close to the murder scene with a gun in his hand made a statement in the court that he had been pressed and insisted on provision of protection to him and his family. On October 30, 2008 the family of Farid Babayev and their barristers released a public statement running that the brothers of Sedredin Kanberov (put on a wanted list as the one who had ordered the murder) pressed the witnesses.

During the second trial the key witness failed to come to court for a long time and then the public prosecutor stated that he and his family left for Uzbekistan and read out the testimony the witness had given during the preliminary examination and the first trial.

We think that all this demonstrates obvious failure of the law enforcement and the bodies of inquiry to ensure security of the key witnesses in this loud political murder case.

The YABLOKO party expresses its hope that the executors and those who ordered the murder of Farid Babyev will face a just punishment.

Sergei Mitrokhin,
Chair of the YABLOKO party


The leader of Dagestan YABLOKO, number one in the election list of the party in Dagestan, Farid Babayev was gunned in the entrance of his block of flats on November 21, 2007, several days prior to the State Duma election. Doctors fought for his life for three days, but Farid died on November 24.

Farid Babayev was human rights activist, he defended constitutional rights of the citizens of Dagestan investigating the case of shooting of the rally of the residents of Dokuzparinsky Distrcit which took place in 2006, he also abruptly criticized the arbitrary actions of the local authorities protesting against corruption, murders and kidnapping.
Farid has four children.

See also:

The Murder of Farid Babayev

May 20, 2010