Spouse of Human Rights Lawyer Expelled from Russia

Washington

In response to a St. Petersburg court’s decision to uphold the expulsion from Russia of Jennifer Gaspar, a U.S. citizen married to well-known Russian human rights lawyer Ivan Pavlov, Freedom House issued the following statement:

“Expelling the spouse of a respected human rights lawyer and thus forcing him to choose between staying in his country without her or leaving his homeland is a reprehensible action,” said Freedom House president David J. Kramer. “Even worse, the Russian government has returned to Soviet-era tactics by asserting that Jennifer Gaspar ‘promoted the overthrow of the constitutional order’ and presented ‘a threat to national security.’” Kramer added: “Making serious accusations without evidence or due process is the hallmark of an unjust exercise of state power, as is the exiling of inconvenient critics.

Jennifer Gaspar, a native of Radnor, Pa., has lived in Russia under a legal residence permit for a decade and has worked for various domestic and international nonprofit organizations, including on human rights issues. Ivan Pavlov is the founder of the St. Petersburg-based Institute for Freedom of Information Development, which monitors transparency in the Russian government. During his career, he defended journalist Grigory Pasko and environmental rights defender Alexander Nikitin in two high-profile espionage cases.

Russia is rated Not Free in Freedom in the World 2014 and Freedom of the Press 2014, and Partly Free in Freedom on the Net 2013.

To learn more about Russia, visit:
Russia: More Imprisonments for Protesters
Op-ed: The Dangerous Mr. Putin
Freedom in the World 2014: Russia
Nations in Transit 2014: Russia
Freedom of the Press 2014: Russia
Freedom on the Net 2013: Russia
Freedom House on Russia: 2003-2014

Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.

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Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.

Join us on Facebook and Twitter (freedomhousedc) and Instagram. Stay up to date with Freedom House’s latest news and events by signing up for our RSS feedsnewsletter and our blog.