Grigory Pasko and Ivan Pavlov (center) at the hearings of Pasco case in 2001. Courtesy photo

The morn­ing starts with the usu­al news — search­es and deten­tions. This time police raid­ed the home of Ivan Pavlov, a well-known lawyer, human rights defend­er and head of the Team 29 (Koman­da 29)– asso­ci­a­tion of lawyers and jour­nal­ists fight­ing for the rights of Russ­ian cit­i­zens to infor­ma­tion access and distribution.

Pavlov has been detained. He is charged with Arti­cle 310 of the RF Crim­i­nal Code (“Dis­clo­sure of data of the pre­lim­i­nary inves­ti­ga­tion”). The penal­ties under this arti­cle are a fine of up to 80,000 rubles or up to 480 hours of com­pul­so­ry work, or cor­rec­tion­al labor for up to two years. A peti­tion has already been pub­lished on the web­site with a demand to stop the harass­ment of the lawyer and his colleagues.

Ivan Pavlov recent­ly han­dled the case of the jour­nal­ist Ivan Safronov (charged with high trea­son) and the case of Alek­sei Naval­ny’s Anti-Cor­rup­tion Foun­da­tion (FBK) under which the FBK, the Cit­i­zens» Rights Defense Foun­da­tion (FPZG), and Naval­ny’s offices nation­wide could be declared extremist.

And here’s what we, the Com­mu­ni­ty of Inves­tiga­tive Jour­nal­ists — Fond 19/29, think about the Pavlov’s case.

Grig­o­ry Pasko: Ivan Pavlov’s deten­tion was so expect­ed, jour­nal­ists have often asked him in recent inter­views, whether he is afraid they will come after him too. Ivan joked: no need to fall before the gunshot.

The shot rang out.

A hun­dred years ago, I wrote in my sto­ry «The Bis­cuit»: «If you wait — they will come. If you don’t wait — they will come, but unex­pect­ed­ly. And that’s worse, but not fatal. Be pre­pared for the fact that you’ll be tak­en out of bed at night, when you’re a guest, at the kiosk where you buy cig­a­rettes, at the plane ramp (like me), or any­where else. They have a lot of fan­tasies about it «.

They will come after every­one. Do not be fooled.

Why Ivan, it is clear. He’s in the thick of the most high-pro­file court cas­es of the Putin era. Why Arti­cle 310? It’s also clear: in almost all the cas­es in which Pavlov par­tic­i­pates as a defense lawyer, there is a paper with the secre­cy stamp.

I would like to add that (since Ivan Pavlov was my lawyer for many years, and I was able to study his style of work): Ivan is clever and metic­u­lous, the high­est pro­fes­sion­al. And, of course, he knows per­fect­ly well the lim­its of what the “chek­ists” (secret police –ed.) call state secrets. Expe­ri­ence and knowl­edge ALWAYS tell him where, what and how to say, so to com­ply with the FSB claims (no mat­ter absurd), and do every­thing in favor of the client.

The pur­pose of this “a la KGB” secu­ri­ty forces show is to deprive Pavlov of the lawyer sta­tus and to intim­i­date oth­er lawyers, to dri­ve them into the stall with red flags.

Ivan is cer­tain­ly not afraid of all this, but this does not mean that we do not need to help him and his team. As much as we can.

Gali­na Sidoro­va. Ivan Pavlov’s case is cer­tain­ly not a pri­vate case of a lawyer. To be more pre­cise, not just per­son­al — it is clear that every­one has to deal with all of this gov­ern­ment non­sense per­son­al­ly. This is yet anoth­er step in Putin’s planned reprisal against the civ­il soci­ety. Repres­sions are becom­ing both tar­get­ed and mass at the same time. Every day, they come after activists and jour­nal­ists under pre­texts that may seem absurd in the eyes of a nor­mal per­son. Geo­graph­i­cal­ly it hap­pens from Moscow to the very out­skirts of Rus­sia. Now, appar­ent­ly, it’s the turn of the lawyers. Belarus, in my opin­ion, has set an exam­ple for the Krem­lin: most of the inde­pen­dent lawyers there have already been deprived of their licens­es, or are under inves­ti­ga­tion. Of course, there’s noth­ing to be sur­prised about; in a coun­try where there is law and at the same time jus­tice is tram­pled, the law turns into an anti-law. The only hope is that in this sit­u­a­tion, grad­u­al­ly and painful­ly for the soci­ety, the Krem­lin pow­er devours itself.

And, of course, it is our com­mon cause, a mat­ter of hon­or and con­science — to fight for our friend, who put all his pro­fes­sion­al strength and skills to help many of us in exer­cis­ing the right to pro­fes­sion­al activ­i­ty, and to free­dom, and for our read­ers — to their right to know.

Alex­ei Shlya­puzh­nikov. Lawyers are not hired from the good life. Peo­ple whose com­mu­ni­ca­tion with the out­side world is lim­it­ed by the walls of the cell and the rules of the inter­nal reg­u­la­tions of the Fed­er­al Pen­i­ten­tiary Ser­vice resort to their help. The role of the lawyer is to rep­re­sent the inter­ests of the client not only in court, but wher­ev­er the law, the sit­u­a­tion and com­mon sense require it, includ­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tion with journalists.

Per­se­cu­tion of lawyers for the per­for­mance of their pro­fes­sion­al duty is unac­cept­able, because in this way the author­i­ties vio­late and actu­al­ly abol­ish the right of sus­pects and defen­dants to a fair defense.

Today’s events are not only an attack on Ivan Pavlov and his team. It’s an act of intim­i­da­tion direct­ed against the entire Russ­ian Bar and the entire Russ­ian jour­nal­ism. The goal of the “silovi­ki” is to destroy com­mu­ni­ca­tion between lawyers and the media by instill­ing fear. Fear and intim­i­da­tion can only be resist­ed togeth­er, and we urge all lawyers and jour­nal­ists to join our demand for an imme­di­ate end to the per­se­cu­tion and the release of Ivan Pavlov.