A Russian lawyer who defended the organizations of opponent Alexeï Navalny announced on Tuesday September 7 that he had left Russia, joining the procession of Kremlin detractors forced into exile in the face of pressure from the authorities.
Ivan Pavlov, 50, said he chose to leave because working was “become impossible“, According to a publication on his Telegram account. Targeted by legal proceedings, he had for four months been prohibited from using any means of communication, internet and telephone included. “The only thing that was not forbidden to me was the possibility of leaving the country“, he wrote, specifying that he is now in Georgia, in the Caucasus, where he has family ties.
Informed of a potential arrest
Last spring, Ivan Pavlov and his team defended the organizations of imprisoned opponent Alexei Navalny, accused of extremism and banned in June following this trial. At the end of April, the lawyer had been charged for the disclosure of information related to a case of high treason targeting a former journalist left to work at the Russian space agency, Ivan Safronov.
Theoretically risking three months in prison for this offence, the lawyer nevertheless affirmed on Tuesday that he had been warned that he could be targeted by “a much more brutal scenario, with an arrest at stake“.
In July, his team of lawyers, Komanda 29, which specializes in espionage and treason cases, proceeded to self-disbandment to avoid prosecution. “Even if I am forced to live temporarily abroad, I link my present and my future to Russiacommented Ivan Pavlov.
Since the arrest of the opponent Navalny in January and his sentence to two and a half years in prison, the authorities have increased the pressure on his supporters, pushing many of his allies to flee the country.