A lawyer acting for Natalia Morar, a Moldovan journalist employed
at the Moscow headquarters of The New Times weekly, has asked a Moscow
court to rule that her deportation on 16 December at the behest of the
FSB security service was illegal. Morar also wants the FSB to be forced
to take all necessary steps to remove the obstacles to her return to
The lawyer, Yuri Kostanov, filed the petition on 14 February. A
hearing is to be held on 17 March. He told the privately-owned Interfax
news agency that the FSB broke the law in several ways.
you prepare to expel someone, an entire series of decisions, in
particular, decisions concerning a permanent employment, have to be
taken and the person has to be informed, but Natalia Morar was given no
notification of this kind,” he said.
Furthermore, no grounds
were given for the deportation, Kostanov said. The authorities just
cited article 27 of a 1996 law concerning movements in and out of
Russia, which says foreigners can be denied entry if they pose a threat
to security or public health.
Morar was denied entry at Moscow’s
Domodedovo airport on 16 December, when she returned with a group of
journalists from a press trip to Israel. After being told by FSB
officials that she was “undesirable” and was not authorised to reenter
Russia, she was put a flight to Chisinau, the capital of Moldova, where
she is from.