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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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Monday, Oct. 20


Amateur pictures from World War I are on display for only one more day at Rosphotos exhibition On Both Sides, chronicling the conflict through the eyes of observers on both sides of the trenches. The price of entrance to the exhibition is 100 rubles ($2.50).



Tuesday, Oct. 21


The Environment, Health and Safety Committee of AmCham convenes this morning at 9 a.m. in the organizations office.


Take the chance to pick the brains of Dmitry V. Krivenok, the deputy director of the Economic Development Agency of the Leningrad region, and Mikhail D. Sergeev, the head of the Investment Projects Department, during the meeting with them this morning hosted by SPIBA. RSVP for the event by emailing office@spiba.ru before Oct. 17 if you wish to attend.


Improve your English at Interactive English, the British Book Centers series of lessons on vocabulary and grammar in an informal atmosphere. Starting at 6 p.m., each month draws attention to different topics in English, with the topic for this months lessons being visual arts.



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