Lawyers’ Open letter: “We demand an end to arbitrary actions against Ivan Pavlov.”

30 April 2021

In the photo, Karina Moskalenko, lawyer, international attorney, member of Moscow Helsinki Group and one of the signatories of the open letter.

Source: Moscow Helsinki Group [original source Echo Moskvi]

Today, 30th April 2021, a search of the Moscow hotel room of one our colleagues, the lawyer Ivan Pavlov, was carried out. At this current moment, a search of his apartment, where his wife is, is underway and of the premises of the staff at Team 29, the association founded by Ivan.

We, Ivan’s colleagues, have no doubt that Ivan’s detention is connected with his professional activity: Ivan works on complex and high-profile cases, most of which are under investigation by the FSB, such as those of Inter RAO manager Karina Tsurkan, physicist Viktor Kudryavtsev, journalist Ivan Safronov and previously, Grigory Pasko.

Ivan Pavlov currently represents the interests of the Anti-Corruption Foundation.*

The position of Ivan and Team 29 is that citizens have the right to freedom of speech and expression of opinion, and that civil society has a right to know the truth of what is happening in the country. Article 29 of the Russian Constitution – after which Team 29 is named – enshrines the right to freedom of thought and speech, the most important features of a democratic and legal state.

Ivan carries out these duties as a lawyer to a high professional standard and his actions as a lawyer are always strictly within the framework of the law. 

The detention of Ivan Pavlov and the searches of his hotel room and his family home have been carried out as part of a criminal case initiated under Article 310 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (Disclosure of preliminary investigation data).

Searches and detentions under this article have no procedural meaning and are not justified in the interests of the investigation. We believe that such actions by law enforcement agencies are aimed solely at intimidating Ivan and his colleagues in order to force them to abandon their active positions in defending their principles.

The legal profession is the only institution of justice that is independent from the state, and which still has the ability to prevent security forces from committing arbitrary acts with impunity. Actions aimed at intimidating the legal community and turning it into an obedient and state-controlled organisation contradict the Constitution of the Russian Federation and do not meet the objectives of building a state based on the rule of law in Russia.

Lawyers protect not just citizens, but also security officers and officials. An independent and courageous legal profession is essential for everyone.

We demand an end to the law being used as an instrument of intimidation against lawyers. We demand an end to the use of inadequate procedural actions in criminal cases for the purposes of blackmail and putting pressure on participants in criminal proceedings. We demand an end to the unlawful criminal prosecution of lawyers. We demand an end to arbitrary actions against our colleague, lawyer Ivan Yurevich Pavlov.

(At the current time, dozens of lawyers have signed the appeal in defence of Ivan Pavlov, with the number of signatories growing by the minute. Only the original signatories are indicated below)

Lawyer Karina Moskalenko

Lawyer Anna Stavitskaya

Lawyer Anastasia Samorukova

Lawyer Ilya Novikov

Lawyer Konstantin Rivikin

Lawyer Vera Goncharova

Lawyer Aleksandr Redkin

Lawyer Katerina Tertukhina 

Lawyer Mariya Krasova

Lawyer Andrei Yumashev

Lawyer Oksana Markeeva

Lawyer Yulia Sicheva

Lawyer Mariya Nemova

Lawyer Natalya Bunder

Lawyer Dmitriy Zachvatov

Lawyer Ilya Utkin

* Russian authorities consider it a ‘foreign agent.’

Translated by Nathalie Corbett

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