The Law Society is concerned for Vitaly Cherkasov, a human rights lawyer and member of the Interregional Association of Human Rights Organisations “Agora” which provides legal aid to individuals and non-governmental organisations. The lawyers at Agora have been involved in defending the rights of LGBTI activists and Vitaly Cherkasov was recently engaged to defend LGBTI activist Kirill Kaulgin.
On 25 November 2014 Vitaly Cherkasov represented Kirill Kaulgin in Lomonosovsky District Court in St Petersburg. We are aware that before the hearing Vitaly Cherkasov was verbally attacked for representing Kirill Kaulgin by approximately ten people who called themselves “Orthodox Church activists”. Among this group, Vitaly Cherkasov identified Mr Anatoly Artukh. Mr Anatoly Artukh is the coordinator of the “Narodny Sobor” nationalist movement and assistant to Mr Vitaly Milonov, who is a member of the Parliament of St Petersburg and one of the initiators of the “propaganda of homosexuality among minors” legislation.
During the hearing, both Vitaly Cherkasov and his client were harassed by anti-LGBTI protestors until the judge ejected them from the court.
Read the full intervention letter attached.