Team 29: 🥂 To the wedding – without the FSB

16 April 2021

Hi there. It’s Team 29 lawyer Artem Kutlovsky!

I wish I could keep it brief, but writing this up takes me longer every time. That doesn’t apply, though, to our new guide, ‘How to get information out of government agencies’, which turned out short and sweet, and extremely useful. Extracting information from the clutches of the government is our specialty, and there we share these skills with you.

You can read a lot about the fight for free access to information and about our ‘archive’ cases (that’s where we’re trying to have documents taken out of the archives for our clients) in a new interview in which a journalist spoke to Team 29. That was with our senior lawyer Maksim Olenichev and our director, Ivan Pavlov. The latter, by the way, has updated his Telegram channel, calling it Pavlov’s Dogs Channel’.

If, like me, you’re stuck inside (gah, that unfortunate word again!) listening to podcasts, then catch the latest Precedent of Russia. It’s on Russia’s new representative to the ECtHR: the Public Prosecutor’s Office, and about the European Court itself. If you were to wake a law student up in the middle of the night and asked them to name an ECHR case, it would be ‘Konstantin Markin Vs Russia’, and it’s the barrister Markin himself who we have on as our guest this time.

And now to news on our trials, both those directly linked to us and those we can’t help but follow, write about, and show up for at hearings.

Recently, the Editor-in-Chief of DOXA, Armen Aramyan, gave an interview for our ‘Komanda’ (Team) project, and now he’s been charged and had preventive measures applied, so he can’t leave home or use the internet. We’re talking about a student media outlet here… What next?

As part of our new project with the School of Literary Practice, we have a new publication out about the detained student. It deals with the relationship between an individual and the government. Natalya Saburova’s story is called Ten Big Snickers, as that’s what the detainee’s girlfriend brings him in jail.

Our journalist Elena Skvortsova, a former St Petersburg State University student, continues to make a stand. Rosobrnadzor has extended the review period, and you can still lodge a complaint with them in support of Lena. This is the last chance to resolve the situation before it goes to court.

Another journalist is also in need of some help: our client Ivan Safronov. The very least we can do is to stand surety for him.

Team 29 is engaged in disputes with law enforcement bodies in various capacities. We’re currently involved in a rare situation, pursuing a case against the Ministry of Internal Affairs to help a security service agent who was unfairly dismissed. The barrister Valery Vetoshkin went to a hearing and had a surprising experience, both to do with the trial and the courthouse itself.

Everything that’s going on feels scary. But I’ve had a happy excuse to take a holiday – I’ll be flying to a wedding. Ivan Pavlov recommended that I be careful, noting dryly that things are a bit dicey for witnesses and may take a turn for the worse – what if we have an FSB bod show up at the wedding who can’t be filmed?

Happy toasts only, and take care!

Artem Kutlovsky

Translated by Lindsay Munford

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