Igor Kalyapin accused of revealing state secrets

Igor Kalyapin Photo Tina AxelssonIgor Kalyapin, chairman of our Russian partner Committee against Torture, has been accused of disclosing state secrets and risks several years in prison if he will be trialed. Igor Kalyapin is also the leader of the Joint Mobile Group in Chechnya, a group that investigates especially sensitive cases of human rights violations in this Russian republic.

“Igor Kalyapin is among the most courageous human rights defenders in Russia today. The Joint Mobile Group, that he is in charge of, investigates cases in Chechnya that are too dangerous for local human rights defenders to deal with. This is an apparent attempt from the side of the authorities to obstruct their important work”, said Joanna Kurosz, Programme Director at Civil Rights Defenders.

The Chechen special police unit filed a complaint to the investigative authorities in Chechnya about disclosure of state secrets by Igor Kalyapin. The complaint is currently being investigated.

Igor Kalyapin believes that OMON’s accusations have to do with the Joint Mobile Group’s progress in the investigation into the abduction of Islam Umarpashayev by members of the Chechen OMON. Nevertheless, he does not believe that the case could lead to a guilty verdict.

“They stand the same chance of success as when they accused me of seizing state power”, said Igor Kalyapin, according to one of his colleagues at Committee against Torture.

Representatives from the Committee against Torture, however, think it is very probable that the investigative authorities in Chechnya will open a criminal case. Disclosure of state secrets is a crime under Article 283 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, punishable with 3 to 7 years in prison.

Igor Kalapyin is listed by Forbes together with 24 other important people in Russian public life.

Civil Rights Defenders cooperation with the Committee against Torture includes support to the Joint Mobile Group, whose members travel to Chechnya to monitor and investigate serious human rights violations. In 2009, the situation in the North Caucasus worsened significantly and in order to maintain presence on the ground, a group of human rights NGOs decided to organise visits to Chechnya on a rotational basis, to monitor and report on violations.

The most high-profile case of the group is the abduction of Islam Umarpashayev by members of the Chechen OMON. The Umarpashayev case is currently investigated by the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation. Igor Kalyapin is the representative of the victim, and as such participates in the investigative activities.

Categories: News.
Tags: Committee Against Torture, Igor Kalyapin, and Joint Mobile Group.
Regions: The North Caucasus.