An Open Letter to the Federal Security Service (FSB) of Russia

Natalya Morar. Source: The New Times MagazineAn open letter to Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) from a series of prominent journalists, questioning the actions taken against Natalya Morar. Morar, a fiery investigative journalist, has been barred without explanation from entering Russia, and has been trapped at Moscow’s Domodedovo airport for three days. A separate open letter has also been written on behalf of Ekho Moskvy radio.

We, journalists and colleagues of Natalya Morar, a correspondent of the New Times magazine, demand that the leadership of the FSB ceases her anti-constitutional detention in the customs area of the Domodedovo airport, and opens the Russian border for her.

Natalya Morar did not commit any crimes on Russian territory, and she has not been presented with any charges. She has every legal basis to enter the territory of the Russian Federation [(RF)]. For several days now, Natalya Morar has been forbidden from crossing the Russian border, in an attempt to deport her to Moldova.

By persecuting Natalya Morar, Russian authorities are violating the laws of the RF as well as international law. For a great while, Natalya Morar and her husband Ilya Barabanov have been kept from eating, drinking and sleeping normally, which is a direct violation of article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights and of articles on the right to life in the Constitution of the Russian Federation.

This whole time, her attorney has been kept from her, and this is a gross violation of parts 1 and 2 of article 48 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation and article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Natalya Morar has lived in Russia for more than 6 years. She completed the Moscow State University, she is registered to live in Moscow, and she has a work permit. Furthermore, she is a citizen of Moldova (with which Russia has visa-free travel), and the spouse of a Russian citizen, Ilya Barabanov. The actions of the FSB violate the requirements of the fundamental documents of the OSCE [(Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe)], which forbid the separation of families, and the RF federal law “On foreigners.”

We are convinced, that the reasons for Natalya Morar’s deportation are political, and connected with her professional activities. Morar’s persecution began after her publication of courageous investigative reporting in the New Times magazine –“Bureaucrats are Diverting Money to the West,” “A lifetime ‘Discount’” [a Moscow bank], “Payment for Loyalty,” “VTSIOM 2,” “The Black Till of the Kremlin.”

We are convinced, that the FSB is using clause 1 of article 27 of the law “On the procedure for departing the RF and the procedure for entering the RF,” to carry out political censorship. We believe that by answering journalistic investigations with these measures, Russian authorities, as represented by the FSB and president Vladimir Putin personally are signing off on confessionary statements to all the facts of corruption laid bare by Morar’s articles.

We demand that the Federal Border Service of the FSB RF cease its blatant violation of the law, and admit Natalya Morar onto the territory of the Russian Federation. We likewise demand that Russian authorities publicly name the reason for Natalya Morar’s deportation.

Yulia Galyamina, journalist (
Alexei Sochnev, journalist (
Anton Semikin, journalist (
Yuriy Gladish, journalist (
Natalya Volosnikova, journalist (
Olga Malysh, journalist (
Ksenya Firsova, journalist (
Stanislav Yakovlev, journalist (
Tatyana Kashintseva, journalist (
Olga Bogun, journalist (
Vladimir Tsybulskiy, journalist (
Andrei Dmitriev, (APN-CPB (
Andrei Skovorodnikov, journalist (Krasnoyarskaya Gazeta)
Yekaterina Fatyanova, journalist (
Aleksandr Golts, journalist (
Olga Pashkova, journalist (
Yekaterina Shmelkova, journalist (
Svetlana Solodovnik, journalist (
Maria Kamenskaya, journalist (
Aleksandr Ryklin, journalist (
Maria Olendskaya, journalist (
Maksim Blant (Matveychenkov), journalist (
Vladimir Yermolin, journalist (
Natella Boltyanskaya (Ekho Moskvy)
Rimma Polyak, independent journalist, Moscow
Mikhail Fishman, journalist
Yuliya Kukushkina, OK! Magazine
Irina Borogan, “”
Andrei Soldatov, “”
Varvara Turova, journalist
Ilia Ekchtout, P.Eng
Alexander Samartsev, journalist

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