Russia: Supporting Human Rights Lawyer

Russia’s long-running campaign against 45-year-old human rights lawyer Mikhail Benyash culminated in his March 2023 retrial and conviction for allegedly assaulting the police.

TrialWatch monitored the first trial against Benyash in 2019 as part of its focus on how Russia is stifling dissent.

Our Fairness Report was used by the defense in its successful appeal that resulted in the overturning of Benyash’s conviction. TrialWatch helped ensure that the appeal hearings remained public, despite the court’s initial efforts to close them, by submitting a letter to the court highlighting serious fair trial problems in the first instance proceedings and the need for transparency on appeal.

After Benyash was released from prison, he went on to represent anti-war protesters in Russia who were arrested following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as well as soldiers who refused to fight in Ukraine.

During the appeal I attached the TrialWatch report and often quoted from it because it’s very well done.

Mikhail Benyash Human Rights Lawyer