New York, November 14, 2023—The Committee to Protect Journalists called on Russian authorities to explain why Kazakh journalist Vladislav Ivanenko was deported ahead of a court hearing over his residence permit.
On November 9, police arrested Ivanenko, a journalist with the independent regional news website Properm.ru, at his home in the central Russian city of Perm and took him to a Temporary Detention Center for Foreign Citizens, according to Properm.ru and media reports.
On Monday, Ivanenko was taken to Yekaterinburg, some 350 kilometers (217 miles) southeast of Perm, and deported to Kazakhstan, Properm.ru reported. This was despite a Perm court on Friday suspending the decision to cancel Ivanenko’s residence permit and scheduling a hearing for November 14, it said.
“CPJ is concerned by Russia’s decision to expel Kazakh journalist Vladislav Ivanenko and calls on Russian authorities to disclose the reasons behind it,” Gulnoza Said, CPJ’s Europe and Central Asia program coordinator, said on Tuesday. “Russian authorities must clarify whether Ivanenko was expelled because of his work and allow members of the press across Russia to work freely.”
Ivanenko had lived in Perm for eight years but had recently received a notice of cancellation of his residence permit, which he appealed before the legal deadline, his outlet said. The authorities did not give a reason for the cancellation and Ivanenko had not faced any administrative or criminal charges, it said.
“We consider the actions of the law enforcement agencies to be illegal and excessive and demand that they stop putting pressure on the employee and the editorial office,” Properm.ru said, adding that it believed the reasons for canceling Ivanenko’s residence permit were “fictitious” and “groundless.”
Properm.ru covers the war in Ukraine as well as local issues such as COVID-19, urban planning and environmental pollution, according to CPJ’s review. Ivanenko had worked for the outlet for four years, according to the independent news website Sota. CPJ was unable to establish what topics he reported on.
The Department of the Russian Ministry of Interior in Perm said it was not aware of Ivanenko’s situation and declined to comment. CPJ’s phone calls to the Temporary Detention Center for Foreign Citizens in Perm and emails and text messages to Properm.ru did not receive any replies.