Person of the Week: Human rights lawyer Ivan Pavlov

Week-ending 7 May 2021

This week more than 80 Russian journalists, writers, historians and translators published an open letter in support of human rights lawyer Ivan Pavlov who also heads the human rights group Team 29. Pavlov was detained on 30 April and charged with disclosing classified information about the preliminary investigation in the case of Ivan Safronov. Senior human rights lawyer Karinna Moskalenko described Pavlov’s arrest as marking ‘a real state of emergency.’ The International Commission of Jurists condemned Pavlov’s detention and interrogation and the searches of his premises.


RFE/RL, 2 May 2021: More than 80 Russian journalists, writers, historians, and translators have issued an open letter in support of prominent defense attorney Ivan Pavlov, who was detained in Moscow on April 30 and accused of disclosing classified information about the ongoing investigation of former journalist Ivan Safronov. “The persecution of Ivan Pavlov and the seizure of confidential case files is an act of terror directed not only at Pavlov but at the entire law community and an attempt to drive Pavlov out of the Ivan Safronov case,” the open letter published on May 2 said. The signatories of the letter represent the Moscow PEN Club and the Free Speech Association. Pavlov, 50, is one of Russia’s leading human rights lawyers and the head of the legal-aid foundation Team 29. Law enforcement officers searched the Team 29 office in St. Petersburg, the home of the group’s IT specialist, and the apartment of Pavlov’s wife.

RFE/RL, 3 May 2021: When human rights lawyer Karinna Moskalenko learned that fellow attorney Ivan Pavlov had been detained in Moscow, alarm bells rang. “This is a real state of emergency,” Moskalenko, who 20 years ago was the first Russian lawyer to speak before the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) and to win a case from Russia, wrote on Facebook on April 30. “A lot depends — for him and for us all — on how we act now,” Moskalenko wrote. “For my part, I am sending the alarm to the headquarters of the International Commission of Jurists in Geneva. And I am asking this global organization to act immediately.” In a post the same day, journalist and human rights activist Zoya Svetova called the prominent defense attorney “a knight among lawyers.” “Pavlov is an absolutely fearless and professional lawyer who is also sensitive and loyal,” Svetova wrote. She urged “a majority of bold, honest, and professional colleagues” to come to his aid and to the aid of the legal profession in Russia generally.

ICJ, 3 May 2021: The ICJ today condemned the detention, interrogation and searches of premises of lawyer Ivan Pavlov, a prominent lawyer and head of the human rights legal group Team 29. Pavlov was detained by Federal Security Service (FSB) agents on 30 April after a raid on his Moscow hotel suite and released later that day. According to the order to initiate criminal proceedings, Pavlov was charged with “disclosing the information of preliminary investigation” under Article 310 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. According to the charging order, Pavlov is accused of transmitting to the Vedomosti Newspaper a copy of a charging order against his client, journalist Ivan Safronov. Furthermore, Pavlov is charged with disclosing the nickname of one of the witnesses in the case. According to the decision of the Basmanny Court on a preventive measure for Pavlov, he is prohibited from communicating with witnesses in his criminal case, except for close relatives, using the Internet and other means of communication.

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