Sokolov Must Be Guaranteed Fair Appeal

I have learned with deep concern the disturbing news of the sentencing of the human rights activist Alexey Sokolov on 13 May 2010 to five years’ imprisonment sentence in high security prison colony on the alleged crime of theft and robbery.[:]
There are serious concerns over the conduct of his trial. According to the information I have received, the Bogdanovich town court in the Sverdlovsk region of Russia gave decisive weight to potentially unsound evidence while failing to sufficiently take into account testimonies in support of Alexey Sokolov. Moreover, concern remains over the violations of the criminal procedure at the pre-trial stage, which I promptly raised with the Russian authorities at that time.
I am informed that Alexey Sokolov intends to appeal against the verdict. The Russian authorities must ensure that at this time he is guaranteed a fair trial according to international standards. Moreover, the authorities must guarantee that the preceding violations in the criminal procedure at pre-trial stage and conduct of the trial of Alexey Sokolov shall be rigorously and thoroughly examined at the appeal proceedings.
While in prison, I urge the authorities to ensure that Alexey Sokolov is not tortured or otherwise ill-treated.