Media Rights Agenda (MRA) has joined over 90 other organisations and individuals from around the world in issuing a letter expressing solidarity with Mr. Ivan Pavlov, a Russian human rights activist and lawyer who has been charged with a criminal offence in Russia for disclosing data of a preliminary investigation which was declared secret.
Ivan is suspected to have been charged for his role, along with other members of Team 29, which he heads, in defending opposition leader Alexey Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) and campaign offices against criminal accusations of advocating extremism.
Ivan was detained on April 30, 2021 and, although he was later ordered to be released by a judge, it was on condition that he does not use a telephone or the Internet. He has been a tireless campaigner against government secrecy and in support of human rights and the day before he was charged with making information public, he had accused Russian authorities of abusing secrecy rules in the Navalny case and lodged another legal case to have those materials declared open to the public.
Toby Mendel, Executive Director of Center for Law and Democracy (CLD) one of the signatories to the letter.said“These charges against Ivan, who is a lion of the human rights and right to information struggle in Russia, are clearly politically motivated. They also represent a new development in Russia where, until now, lawyers have largely been able to defend their clients despite crackdowns on the opposition.”
Russia has used various measures against Ivan, including the charges and communications ban, in manifest breach of his rights to freedom of expression and criminal due process. They represent a broader attack on the rule of law, including respect for the independence of lawyers. CLD calls on democratic States and intergovernmental human rights bodies to take action to defend the rights of Pavlov and all Russians. The letter with the full list of signatories is available in English original, as well as in Arabic, French, Russian and Spanish translation at https://www.law-democracy.org/live/russia-letter-in-solidarity-with-ivan-pavlov/