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Jennifer Gaspar (right) poses with her daughter and husband Ivan Pavlov in 2012.

The European court has ruled that Russia wrongly revoked the residence permit of American human rights activist Jennifer Gaspar in 2014.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on June 12 said that Russian authorities violated Gaspar's right to respect for family life, as it had compelled her to leave Russia, where her husband and minor child were living.

In its ruling, the court in Strasbourg ordered the Russian state to pay Gaspar 14,142 euros ($16,680) in compensation.

"I want to celebrate justice and an end to a long slog through court proceedings that has weighed upon me," Gaspar wrote on Facebook after the court decision.

Russian immigration authorities informed Gaspar in July 2014 that her residence permit was revoked, after the country's Federal Security Service (FSB) issued a report stating that she posed a national security threat.

Later in 2014, two St. Petersburg courts upheld her expulsion from Russia.

Gaspar has since been living in the German capital, Berlin, with her child.

She had lived in Russia since 2004, working with civil society and nongovernmental organizations. She married a prominent Russian lawyer and activist, Ivan Pavlov.

Mikhail Khodorkovsky

Police in Russia's Far Eastern city of Vladivostok have disrupted the founding gathering of a regional branch of a civil society group established by exiled Kremlin foe Mikhail Khodorkovsky and detained several activists, the organization says.

In a Facebook post on June 12, Open Russia said police used force and detained activists Andrei Pivovarov, Natalya Gryaznyevich, Andrei Yarotsky, and Maria Zinchenko, as well as the coordinator of opposition politician Aleksei Navalny's office in Vladivostok, Vladimir Dubovsky.

It is not clear what charges the activists may face.

In April 2017, the Russian Prosecutor-General's Office declared Open Russia "undesirable” under a controversial law signed by President Vladimir Putin in 2015 and accused the nongovernmental organization of conducting antigovernment activities.

Once Russia's wealthiest tycoon and the head of its biggest oil company, the now defunct Yukos, Khodorkovsky served 10 years in Russian prisons after being convicted of tax evasion and other charges widely seen as politically motivated.

He and supporters say he was the victim of a Kremlin-orchestrated campaign to punish him for challenges to Putin and to increase state control over the oil revenues.

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"Watchdog" is a blog with a singular mission -- to monitor the latest developments concerning human rights, civil society, and press freedom. We'll pay particular attention to reports concerning countries in RFE/RL's broadcast region.


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