7 September 2021
by Ivan Pavlov, lawyer, laureate of the Moscow Helsinki Group human rights award
Hello everyone, this is Ivan Pavlov. It has been a while since I have written here. Now I will do so more often. The restrictions imposed on me in connection with the criminal case have gradually made my work impossible. I was banned from using devices connected to the internet, speaking with my client and with some of my colleagues. In general, everything a lawyer needs to be effective in their work was forbidden me.
The restrictions did not touch on just one thing – the possibility of leaving the country. This was a sign pointing to a way out.
It took a few months to find reliable lawyers who will continue to work in Russia for my clients. We must give what is due to the patience of our procedural opponents, who for all these four months waited, not taking any brutal actions, though there was information about a harsher scenario that would have ended by putting me in jail. Only on the day of the flight did they start surveillance, keeping watch all day on my house in Petersburg, following me to the airport, right to the very plane. But they did not try to impede the flight, even though I had a one-way ticket.
Now I am an émigré. In Georgia for now – a country with which I have many ties. Here my mother was born, my grandfather is buried, here I spent three years of my childhood, I went to school…
I will keep you informed about my plans and projects. But for me this is not the first time. More than that, I plan to continue the work which led me to be forced to leave my country. Though I am forced to live abroad for the time being, my present and future lie with Russia. And I will return. And in the meantime I will work on new projects and set straight my previous work, ‘remotely,’ as they now say.
I will keep you informed of my plans and projects.
Translated by Alyssa Rider