Lilia Shibanova, the founder of the Russian election observation network "Association GOLOS" and a board member of the European Platform for Democratic Elections (EPDE) is currently being prevented from leaving the Russian Federation. While entering the Russian Federation in November 2016, she was a subject of a strict border control. The passport of Lilia Shibanova was apparently invalidated.
Her attempts to obtain a new international passport have failed so far. The EPDE is seriously concerned about the impediment on the right of Ms Shibanova to free travel. The EPDE also strongly condemns the ungrounded accusations of alleged document falsification by Ms Shibanova in some Russian mass media.
The EPDE calls upon the Russian authorities to clarify the situation around the travel documents of Ms Shibanova and to assist her in obtaining valid travel documents. We also call on the government in Russia to refute the slanderous media allegations of document falsification by Ms Shibanova.
Lilia Shibanova is a resident in Lithuania since 2013 where she is working as an election expert. Since December 2015 Lilia Shibanova is board member of the European Platform for Democratic Elections.