The ECBA co-signed a joint statement regarding the situtation of the Russian lawyer Ivan Pavlov.

He is a prominent human rights lawyer and director of Team-29, an association of lawyers and journalists in the Russian Federation.

The team has since 2015 focused their efforts on public access to government information and providing legal aid to victims of law enforcement abuses. They have worked on a number of sensitive and high-profile cases filed by Federal Security Service (FSB). The charges brought recently against Pavlov (article 310 of the Criminal code) carries penalties varying from an 80,000 Rubles fine to an arrest of up to 3 months. Although Mr. Pavlov was later released from detention, he is banned from using telephone and internet.

Until now, Russian lawyers have for the most part been free to exercise their professional duties. In our view, the detention and restrictions on Mr. Pavlov also violates the independence of lawyers and represents judicial harassment in contradiction to the UN Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights. The UN Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers establish that no lawyer should be hindered in carrying out his or her professional duties.

We therefore urge the Russian authorities to cease the prosecution and judicial harassment of Mr. Pavlov and Team-29, and to give due respect to the Rule of law and the professional rights and role of lawyers.