1 May 2021
Dearest friends and colleagues! This is Ivan Pavlov, Head of Team 29
Yesterday was challenging – for me, my family, and the team. At 6am, my associate Igor Dorfman had his door kicked in. An eight-hour search of his apartment ensued, and he was brought in for questioning by the FSB. Team 29’s office was searched into the night.
But even though they have cut me off from all means of communication, I’m still with you.
My Facebook account is temporarily blocked, for security reasons. My team will maintain my Telegram channel. This message is being written by Evgeny Smirnov, who spent the whole day with me.
The Team’s media operation will continue to function, publishing the latest news and features. That’s because an open press and freedom of information have always been a priority for us (something that has always caused our opponents great frustration).
Without a doubt, the attack on me and my team constitutes retaliation for our work, our principled position, and our role in high-profile legal cases, now under investigation by the FSB’s Investigation Directorate. Of course, it’s also retaliation for our defence in court of the Anti-Corruption Foundation, founded by Aleksei Navalny. But we have no intention of stopping. We will keep on working and keep on crusading. We won’t go down without a fight.
All the more so, as today, my team and I have felt the most extraordinary support from journalists, human rights defenders, and the public. Also, most importantly of all, from our colleagues in the legal community, who came to our assistance, formalities aside.
I’m thankful for this tough day because I found out just how many people support me and Team 29. This is encouraging, and no interrogations, searches, or trials can take that away from me.
(via Evgeny Smirnov)
Translated by Lindsay Munford