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Russian blogger Alexei Romanov banned from entering Georgia

Russian blogger banned from entering Georgia

Russian blogger Alexei Romanov writes on his Facebook page that he was not allowed to enter Georgia. According to the blogger, he traveled to Georgia via Armenia, but at the Georgian border he was denied entry into the country.

Romanov says that after waiting for 6 hours, he was given a document indicating the refusal of entry into Georgia.

“The document lists all the possible reasons for refusal: incomplete set of documents; incorrect documents; threat to state security posed by the person’s stay in Georgia; the person has not paid the fine, he has no insurance, his stay is undesirable for international political reasons, he has violated the rules for foreigners in Georgia or is about to violate them; and more.

But all this does not concern me.

I was refused entry to Georgia for a reason formulated as follows: “Other cases provided for by Georgian legislation”.

But seriously, I think the reason lies in my reports, which I filmed in Georgia in the fall, when people went to rallies to demand the release of Mikheil Saakashvili from prison. For a Georgian oligarch, the country’s part-time shadow ruler, Misha is the main pain in the neck.

Alexei Romanov left Russia in 2016 and moved to Georgia with his family. The blogger explained that he left Russia under pressure from the government and said his persecution was linked to the creation of an Internet channel criticizing the authorities. Romanov returned to Russia in 2019.

In 2020, Aleksey Romanov was arrested in Khabarovsk on charges of an administrative offense: violation of the rules for organizing mass events.

On his YouTube channel, he covered the protests sparked by the arrest of the region’s governor, Sergei Furgal.

It should be mentioned that on June 16, Georgia did not allow Insu Lander, a blogger from Kabardino-Balkaria, prosecuted in Russia, to cross the border.

When Lander tried to cross the border, she was stopped by Georgian border guards, taken to the office and interrogated for two hours. Finally, they issued a document stating that she had been refused permission to cross the border “for other reasons”.

In recent months, many Kremlin critics from Russia and other countries have been denied entry to Georgia without explanation.

On March 5, a journalist from the Russian opposition TV channel Dozhd, Mikhail Fishman, told the details of his unsuccessful trip to Georgia. He was not allowed to enter the country and was expelled from Tbilisi International Airport. Fishman received no explanation as to the reasons for the denial.

On January 31, Russian opponent Dmitry Gudkov was barred from entering Georgia. Before that, Russian politician Lyubov Sobol and journalist Ilya Azar, as well as Ukrainian journalist Dmitry Gordon, were not allowed to enter the country.

David Frankel, a journalist with the Russian independent activist media group Mediazona, was also banned from entering Georgia.

In addition, several representatives of Russian opposition parties, who do not carry out public activities and whose names are not known to the general public, were not allowed to enter Georgia without explanation. Neither law enforcement nor the Georgian government comment on this.

Russian blogger banned from entering Georgia