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Amnesty Demands to Know Whereabouts of Jailed Kremlin Critic Andrei Pivovarov

Andrei Pivovarov Private Archive / eurasia.amnesty.org

Amnesty International has demanded the Russian authorities reveal the location of imprisoned Kremlin critic Andrei Pivovarov, whose whereabouts have been unknown since he was transferred to new a penal colony in mid-January.

“The authorities are subjecting him to enforced disappearance — a crime under international law, by not revealing his fate or whereabouts,” Amnesty International’s Russia Director Natalia Zviagina said.

Pivovarov, 41, was sentenced to four years in prison on charges of “undesirable” activities last year.

He has been in detention since May 2021, when he was removed from a flight bound for Warsaw by Russian security services amid the country’s wide-reaching crackdown on opposition voices. 

Pivovarov was previously the head of the Open Russia organization,  which was established by exiled Kremlin critic Mikhail Khodorkovsky. Open Russia was ultimately labeled “undesirable” in Russia in 2017, a tag that outlaws an organization’s activities within Russia and subjects anyone working with it to criminal prosecution.

The movement's members continued to operate as a separate legal entity until May 2021 when it disbanded in order to protect its staff from prosecution. Pivovarov was arrested days later.

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