2019-09-18 20:36:00

Russian Orthodox Church initiates probe into possible infringement of rights of people prosecuted after Moscow summer riots

Moscow, September 18, Interfax - The Russian Orthodox Church intends to establish whether the rights of people detained during summer protests in Moscow were violated and, if necessary, help the convicts, according to a statement from the Synodal Department for Church, Society and Media Relations issued in reaction to public statements made by priests about Moscow Case defendants.

"Given the importance for society of court decisions on the people detained during the protests, the Human Rights Center of the World Russian People's Council is tasked with studying cases opened against those people and other individuals and to look into possible infringement of their rights in court and to ensure their access to professional legal counsel, if needed," the synodal department said in a statement on its website.

Rights activism coming from the Church is aimed at helping "anyone whose rights may be infringed, not for political movements seeking to use the fact of certain individuals being convicted in striving for their own power, as we have seen in numerous cases in many different countries," the statement said.

"Only someone who has studied the criminal cases in question may know their particularities, and it is not likely that priests living in Austria, Belarus, Hong Kong, Spain, Russia, or Ukraine will have enough knowledge of these cases to draw conclusions about someone being guilty or innocent," it said.