Lev Ponomarev, human rights defender, leaves Russia

April 26, 2022
Lev Ponomarev. Alexander Zemlianichenko / AP Photo / TASS

On 22 April, 2022 AFP reported that Lev Ponomarev, a veteran Russian rights defender who was earlier detained for protesting the Kremlin’s military operation in Ukraine, has “temporarily” left the country. See also: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2022/02/27/anti-war-human-rights-defenders-in-russia/

The 80-year-old former parliament member has been engaged in activism since the last years of the Soviet Union, helping create the now-dissolved Memorial organization in 1988. He said in a statement on Friday that worries about his personal safety, including “shadowy information about what they intended to do to me,” have forced him to take a break abroad.

I doubt that my leave of absence will last long,” said Ponomarev, whose name has been added to Moscow’s list of “foreign agents” in Russia.

Ponomarev did not disclose his new location, saying only that he continued to closely follow the “worrying” news in Russia.

Ponomarev confirmed his departure on the same day fellow Kremlin critic Vladimir Kara-Murza appeared before investigators on charges of spreading false information about Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine, according to his lawyer. [see: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2022/04/14/human-rights-defender-vladimir-kara-murza-arrested-in-russia/]

The charge, which falls under a new law introduced after Russia’s Feb. 24 launch of the campaign, could see Kara-Murza, 40, jailed for up to 15 years. Kara-Murza was due to appear in a Moscow court later Friday, Interfax said.

Colleague activist Ronald Airapetyan: //www.rferl.org/a/russia-activist-asylum-netherlands/31823471.html

See also re Mikhail Nesvat: https://www.rferl.org/a/russia-activist-asylum-united-states-crackdown/31833981.html


2 Responses to “Lev Ponomarev, human rights defender, leaves Russia”

  1. […] Since the start of Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine on 24 February, dozens of members of the Russian intellectual elite and journalists have left the country, as the authorities step up pressure against the last critical voices and media. See also: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2022/04/26/lev-ponomarev-human-rights-defender-leaves-russia/ […]

  2. […] defenders and the international community at a time when other bridges have been cut. [see also: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2022/04/26/lev-ponomarev-human-rights-defender-leaves-russia/%5D Finally, a Special Rapporteur could speak up authoritatively against the deepening restrictions on […]

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