Russia designates Russian LGBT Network a “foreign agent,” along with lawyer Ivan Pavlov and “Team 29” Lawyers’ Association
Five Russian lawyers have been put on the list of foreign agents, the Russian Justice Ministry announced on Monday, November 8, 2021.
On Monday, November 8, the Justice Ministry declared Ivan Pavlov a “media foreign agent” along with four other former employees from his now-closed organization Team 29 — Maxim Zagovora, Valerya Vetoshkina, Elena Skvortsova, and Maxim Olenichev.
Also, the Ministry has added the Russian LGBT Network to its registry of “unregistered public associations performing the functions of a ‘foreign agent’.” According to the Ministry, the Russian LGBT-network was sponsored by the Sfera charity fund for social and legal assistance.
Pavlov, commenting on the Justice Ministry’s decision, said that “becoming a “foreign agent” nowadays is almost like receiving the State Prize for special services in the field of freedom of speech and information. He promised to appeal the actions of the Ministry of Justice in court.
Pavlov himself is now in Georgia.
Who is Ivan Pavlov?
The lawyers’ association “Team 29” is led by Ivan Pavlov, who has defended Alexey Navalny’s organization. Pavlov has been under criminal investigation since April when the Kremlin accused him of disclosing investigation information relating to one of his clients.
Navalny himself is in prison for parole violations over an embezzlement case he says is fabricated. He was arrested in Moscow earlier this year after flying back from Germany where he had been recovering from a nerve agent Novichok poisoning.
Pavlov also was the attorney of former journalist, Roscosmos adviser Ivan Safronov. In April 2021, Pavlov was charged with leaking classified trial data from the treason case against Safronov. He fled Russia in September, after which authorities put him on a wanted list.
What is The Russian LGBT Network?
The LGBTQ+ rights group Russian LGBT Network is best known for helping evacuate people fleeing persecution in Chechnya. The group’s operator, the charitable foundation Sfera, was registered as a “foreign-agent NGO” in 2016. After that, it continued working as a crisis group under the name “North Caucasus SOS.”
The movement has 17 regional offices throughout Russia, from Moscow to the Primorsky region, with HQ in St. Petersburg.