Founder of Golos Prevented from Leaving Russian Federation; GNDEM Urges Quick, Fair Resolution

The founder of the Russian election observation network, “Association Golos,” and European Platform for Democratic Elections (EPDE) Board Member Lilia Shibanova is being prevented from leaving the Russian Federation. Ms. Shibanova’s inability to leave the country follows a series of crackdowns and incidences of harassment of Golos and its leaders over the past several years, including home and office raids and substantial fines.

Ms. Shibanova’s passport was invalidated, without clear explanation,when she entered the country from Lithuania last month. Her attempts at obtaining a new passport have been unsuccessful thus far, and this infringes upon her ability to travel freely.

The Global Network of Domestic Election Monitors (GNDEM) considers this another attempt by authorities and the media to undermine the work Golos and its leaders to independently monitor electoral processes in Russia. GNDEM stands with Golos and joins EPDE in calling on Russian authorities to quickly resolve any issues around Ms. Shibanova’s travel documents, and in refuting misinformation from state-affiliated media.