07:39 GMT +307 December 2019
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    Poland Upholds Russian Journalist's Unlawful Removal

    © Sputnik / Alexandr Demyanchuk
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    Poland's decision to cancel the residence permit of a freelance correspondent for Rossiya Segodnya International Information Agency is not consistent with Polish and European laws.

    WARSAW (Sputnik) — Poland's decision to cancel the residence permit of Leonid Sviridov, a freelance correspondent for Rossiya Segodnya International Information Agency, is not consistent with Polish and European laws, the journalist's lawyer, Jaroslaw Chelstowski said on Wednesday.

    "This is a kind of inquisition process, which has nothing in common with the rights and procedures existing in Poland. And it's clear that this does not comply with the EU directive from 2003, which the Russian citizen's residence permit is based on," Chelstowski told RIA Novosti.

    The Polish Department of Foreigners earlier upheld a previous decision to recall Sviridov's residence permit, a ruling that Sviridov intends to dispute in court, Chelstowski said, adding that he had received the department's 28-page official ruling. The ruling states that the foreign citizen's right to defense had not been breached, according to Chelstowski.

    Facts contradict the ruling's claim, according to Chelstowski, with the journalist completely deprived of the capacity to defend himself, with dossier files classified and witness testimonies rejected. "The Foreigners Department admitted that Internal Security Agency (ISA) papers do not need to be analyzed, and they were classified by the ISA itself," he added, stating that a complaint will be submitted to the regional court within days.

    Sviridov has been working in Warsaw since 2003. In October 2014, the Polish Foreign Ministry revoked his press accreditation without explanation, following a request from ISA. In addition, Sviridov's Polish residency permit was also cancelled.


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