Roman Udot, senior election expert and board member of the Russian largest election observation network GOLOS, has been arrested in Moscow on 20 May 2019. Udot is facing a criminal charge related to a provocation conducted by the state controlled TV-station NTV targeting Udot and several other Golos-experts ahead of the disputed 2018 presidential elections in Russia. According to his lawyer, Udot is currently being held arrested without legal basis.

Roman Udot is a victim of a systematic harassment and persecution by “journalists” of the state-controlled Russian TV-channel NTV. Ahead of the presidential elections in Russia in March 2018, NTV published so called “investigative report” with the aim to discredit Golos and its election experts. This report was a part of a coordinated smear campaign targeting Golos members and their families.

The EMDS calls on the Russian authorities to immediately release Roman Udot and to stop the criminal prosecution against him. The EMDS also urges the Russian authorities to abstain from pressuring independent domestic election observers and to stop hindering the Russian civil activist and election experts to freely cooperate with their international counterparts!