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Appeal Denied for Local U.S. NGO Consultant

Published: August 20, 2014 (Issue # 1825)



  • Jennifer Gaspars lawyer Sergei Golubok speaking with media outside the courtroom on Tuesday.
    Photo: Sergey Chernov / SPT

  • Jennifer Gaspar and her Russian husband, Ivan Pavlov, in St. Petersburg.
    Photo: Jennifer Gaspar

The Frunzensky District Court denied on Tuesday an appeal by Jennifer Gaspar, a U.S.-born, St. Petersburg organizational development consultant specializing in NGOs, who is facing deportation from Russia as a threat to national security for allegedly unlawful activities in Russia.

The Federal Migration Service (FMS) revoked Gaspars residence permit last month despite her having a Russian husband and a five-year-old daughter, and effectively ordered her to leave Russia.

No concrete grounds for the decision were given in the notice signed on July 21 by the chief of the FMSs St. Petersburg and Leningrad Oblast directorate, Yelena Dunayeva, and delivered to Gaspar by Pochta Rossii (Russian Post) on Aug. 5.

During the trial, which opened on Aug. 12, a representative from the FMS failed to specify the accusations or provide any evidence against Gaspar, but instead referred to a letter from the Federal Security Service (FSB), the Soviet KGB successor.

Anna Krivenkova, a spokesperson for the FMS, said the letter written by an FSB official in June represented the unconditional ground for revoking Gaspars residence permit.

Krivenkova said it was not the job of the FMS to ask the FSB for more information or verify it.

Judge Marina Motova declined repeated requests from Gaspars lawyer Sergei Golubok, who asked that the evidence of the alleged illegal activities of Gaspar be presented in court and a representative from the FSB be summoned to court as an interested party.

Motova also declined Goluboks requests to seek a new judge as he suggested Motova was giving preferential treatment to one of the parties, specifically the FMS.

Gaspar was not present at the trial, but her husband, Ivan Pavlov, came to give evidence as a witness.

Speaking in the courtroom, Pavlov suggested that because of his 20-year-long practice as a human rights lawyer, with him frequently defending people charged by the FSB, some FSB officers could use his wifes American citizenship to exclude him from future trials.

Later, Pavlov said that Gaspars involvement with NGOs could also be a factor, since the Kremlin started a campaign against NGOs and passed the legislation to force them to brand themselves as foreign agents following the exposure of massive fraud at the State Duma elections in 2011 and the presidential elections in 2012.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Friday, Dec. 19


Test your mastery of parlor games during Game Evening at the British Book Center. Learn how to play a variety of classic, mentally challenging games and use your newly acquired skills to crush weaker opponents. The event beings at 5 p.m.



Saturday, Dec. 20


The citys Babushkina Park on Prospekt Obukhovskoy Oborony will be invaded by dozens of rocking-and-rolling Santa Clauses during todays Santa Claus Parade. Not only will they parade through the park but there will also be competitions amongst the festively-clad participants and a musical master class. There will also be a prize for the best-dressed Santa Claus.


Stock up your record collection during the Vinyl Christmas Sale at the KL10TCH bar on Konyushennaya ploschad today. Spend the afternoon perusing the records for sale while listening the classic, clean sound of records spinning out hits from a variety of musical genres and time periods.



Sunday, Dec. 21


The Zenit St. Petersburg basketball team returns to the northern capital this evening for a matchup with Krasny Oktyabr, a Volgograd-based basketball club. Tickets for the game, which tips off at 6 p.m. this evening, can be purchased on the clubs website or at their arena, Sibur Arena, on Krestovsky island.


Satisfy your sugar cravings during Sweet New Year, an ongoing seasonal festival at the Raduga shopping center. Each weekend of December will welcome hungry visitors to taste hundreds of different kinds of desserts made from a plethora of sweet treats. Workshops are open to visitors and seasonal gifts can also be purchased for those rushing to finish their New Year shopping.



Monday, Dec. 22


Pick out the latest fashions as holiday gifts for loved ones or as early presents for yourself during the Christmas Design Sale at Kraft on Obvodny Kanal, starting on Dec. 20 and continuing through Dec. 27. Designer clothes will be on sale every day of the week or you can buy something more festive to decorate the home while sipping on hot coffee and perusing the various master classes.



Tuesday, Dec. 23


Meet Arctic explorers Fedor Konukhov and Viktor Simonov during SPIBAs and Capital Legal Services event Arctic Expedition this morning in the Mertens House business center at 21 Nevsky Prospekt. The meeting will discuss the explorers ongoing eco-social project and how companies can use the project as a unique marketing opportunity. Email office@spiba.ru by Dec. 22 if you wish to attend.



Wednesday, Dec. 24


The Anglican Church of St. Petersburg we will be holding a Christmas Eve service at 7 p.m. led by Rev Wm. Shepley Curtis of the Episcopal Church. The service will be held at the Swedish Church at 1/3 Malaya Konyushennaya Ulitsa.



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