Madrid, 11 May 2021Access Info Europe and 97 civil society organisations and individuals today expressed concern about the Russian authorities’ persecution and harassment of Ivan Pavlov, freedom of information advocate and lawyer defending opposition leader Aleksei Navalny’s Anticorruption Foundation.

Pavlov was detained on 30 April 2021, under Article 310 of the Russian Federation Criminal Code which makes it a crime to disclose data of a preliminary investigation which has been declared secret. Despite his release by order of a judge, Pavlov’s residence has been inspected by Russia’s Federal Security Services (FSB) and he has been banned from using the telephone and internet.

The signatories denounced this as persecution, aimed at silencing this activist, a member of FOIAnet – the Freedom of Information Advocates network – and preventing him from continuing his work as a human rights defender.

Access Info noted that Ivan Pavlov was a pioneer in working on the right of access to information in Russia, and was for a number of years a member of Access Info’s International Advisory Board.

This worrying development extends beyond persecution of political opponents to interfering with their right of access to justice before the courts, as part of a constant erosion of the basic right of dissent and the dismantling of the rule of law in Russia,” stated Helen Darbishire, Executive Director of Access Info Europe.

The signatories called on members of the international community to put pressure on Russian authorities to end the harassment of Pavlov, to respect the rule of law and to guarantee freedom of expression and right to access to information of all Russians.

The letter is available in Arabic, English, French, Russian and Spanish.


Picture: Komanda 29 ©