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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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Thursday, Oct. 30


Dental-Expo St. Petersburg 2014 concludes today at Lenexpo. Welcoming specialists from throughout the federation, the forum is an opportunity for dentists to share tricks of the trade and peruse the most recent innovations in technology and equipment, with over 100 companies hocking their wares at the event.



Friday, Oct. 31


Put your grammar and logical thinking to the test in a fun and friendly environment during the British Book Centers Board Game Evening starting at 5 p.m. today. The event is free and all are welcome to attend.



Saturday, Nov. 1


The men and women who dedicate their lives to fitness get their chance to compete for the title of best body in Russia at todays Grand Prix Fitness House PRO, the nations premier bodybuilding competition. Not only will men and women be competing for thousands of dollars in prizes and a trip to represent their nation at Mr. Olympia but sporting goods and nutritional supplements will also be available for sale. Learn more about the culture of the Indian subcontinent during Diwali, the annual festival of lights that will be celebrated in St. Petersburg this weekend at the Culture Palace on Tambovskaya Ul. For 100 rubles ($2.40), festival-goers listen to Indian music, try on traditional Indian outfits and sample dishes highlighting the culinary diversity of the billion-plus people in the South Asian superpower.



Sunday, Nov. 2


Check out the latest video and interactive games at the Gaming Festival at the Mayakovsky Library ending today. Meet with the developers of the popular and learn more about their work, or learn how to play one of their creations with the opportunity to ask the creators themselves about the exact rules.



Monday, Nov. 3


Non-athletes can get feed their need for competition without breaking a sweat at the Rock-Paper-Scissors tournament this evening at the Cube Bar at Lomonosova 1. Referees will judge the validity of each matchup award points to winners while the citys elite fight for the chance to be called the best of the best. Those hoping to play must arrange a team beforehand and pay 200 rubles ($4.80) to enter.



Tuesday, Nov. 4


Attend the premiere of Canadian director Xavier Dolans latest film Mommy at the Avrora theater this evening. The fifth picture from the 25-year-old, it is the story of an unruly teenager but the most alluring (or unappealing) aspect is the way the film was shot: in a 1:1 format that is more reminiscent of Instagram videos than cinematic art. Tickets cost 400 rubles ($9.60) and snacks and drinks will be available.



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