For Immediate Release


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Amnesty International

Amnesty International Concerned by Possible Poisoning of Russian Human Rights Lawyer

WASHINGTON - Amnesty International expressed concern today that Karinna Moskalenko and her family may have been the victims of mercury poisoning. The organization was worried that she was targeted for her activities as a human rights lawyer and welcomed the opening of the criminal investigation by the French authorities into the possible poisoning of Karinna Moskalenko and her family.

According to Karinna Moskalenko, on October 12, a number of small liquid metallic balls were found in her car in Strasbourg, France, where she lives part time. The balls were discovered under the floor mats on both the driver's and the passenger's side, as well as stuck under the floor cover in other places of the car. A criminal case has been opened by the French police who are investigating the incident.

Karinna Moskalenko told Amnesty International that she and one of her sons have been suffering from nausea, dizziness and headaches in the last few days. The family has undergone medical tests, the full results of which are not yet available.


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Amnesty International said that Karinna Moskalenko may have been targeted for her activities as a human rights lawyer. She acts as one of the legal representatives of the family of murdered Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya. On October 15, she was due to take part in the preliminary hearing of the case but had to stay in France due to the incident. She is also a member of the legal defense team of former YUKOS oil company head Mikhail Khodorkovskii, currently imprisoned in Russia. Hearing of his parole appeal took place on October 15 and 16 in Chita, Russia. Karinna Moskalenko and her team of lawyers have won around 30 cases taken by Russian citizens against the Russian government before the European Court of Human Rights.

Amnesty International looks forward to a prompt and thorough investigation by the French authorities into the incident, with a view to ascertaining whether Karinna Moskalenko and her family have been targeted by a criminal act. Should this be the case, those responsible should be brought to justice.



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Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 2.2 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.

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