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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

Thursday, Sept. 18


Get your nerd on at Boomfest, St. Petersburgs answer to the United States popular ComicCon. Starting today, this international festival of comics will take over venues throughout the city center and includes exhibitions of comics and illustrations, film screenings, competitions and the chance to meet the genres authors, artists and experts.



Friday, Sept. 19


SPIBAs newest addition to their Cultural Discoveries events is Handmade in Germany, an exhibition featuring unique handmade objects of a significantly higher quality than mass-produced items. The work of over 100 German manufacturers will be displayed during the event, which opens today in the Lutheran Church of Saint Peter and Paul on Nevsky Prospekt and runs through Sept. 28.



Saturday, Sept. 20


Starting on Sept. 18 and ending tomorrow is the Extreme Fantasy Wakeboarding Festival in Sunpark by Sredny Suzdalskoye lake in the Ozerki region of the city.


Those after something more laid back can instead head to Jazz and Wine night at TerraVino with legendary jazz guitarist Ildar Kazahanov. 12/14 Admiralteyskaya Emb.



Sunday, Sept. 21


Learn more about African culture and get some exercise during todays Djembe and Vuvuzela, a bike ride starting in Palace Square that includes several stops where riders can listen to the music of Africa or watch short films about the continent. The riders plan to set off at 4 p.m. and all you need to join is a set of wheels.



Monday, Sept. 22


Do you love puppetry? If so, then be sure to go to BTK-Fest, a five-day festival that starts on Sept. 19 celebrating the art. Contemporaries from France, Belgium, the U.K. and other countries will join Russian artists to put on theatrical performances involving a variety of themes, materials and eras. Workshops and meetings are also scheduled for a chance to discuss the artistic medium in further depth.



Tuesday, Sept. 23


Marina Suhih, Director of the External Communications Department at Rostelecom North-West, and Yana Donskaya, HR Director for Northern Capital Gateway are just some of the confirmed participants of todays round table discussion on Interaction with Trade Unions being hosted by SPIBA. Confirm your attendance with SPIBA by Sept. 22.


Kino Expo 2014, an international film industry convention, will be at LenExpo from today until Sept. 26. The third largest exhibition of film equipment in the world, the expo focuses on not only Russia but former Soviet republics as well.



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