Russian human rights defender Gefter: It is absolutely intolerable to prevent citizens from going abroad without good grounds
“People cannot be restricted in their right to travel abroad, expect for the cases when the decision has been enforced by a court,’ says Valentin Gefter, Director of the Institute of Human Rights, Member of the Presidential Council for the Promotion of Civil Society and Human Rights, in his interview with the web-site of the Human Rights Center “Viasna”.
“It is absolutely intolerable to prevent citizens from going abroad without good grounds. Every state may, however, restrict the right to free movement, in case this or that person has violated their legal commitments, including those to other persons, e.g. delay in separate maintenance payments, tax evasion, or military duty. But it is not right to punish people with a travel ban, though a temporary one, for just having dissenting opinions, or taking part in an authorized peaceful demonstration,” says Mr. Gefter.
“In general, these facts are of great concern to us, and therefore we have been trying to do something in the framework of the Council. We are especially concerned that, with no travel restrictions while going to Russia, there may however be certain obstacles for Belarusian black-listed persons to go to third countries through Russia,” says the human rights defender.