Portugal regrets the transfer of the personal information about Russian activists to the Russian authorities

The Lisbon City Council conveyed the personal data of three activists who organized a rally at the Russian Embassy in Portugal on January 23 in support of opposition politician Alexei Navalny to the Russian authorities.

This article is available in Polish.

A rally was held at the end of January near the Russian embassy in Lisbon in support of Navalny, who was arrested immediately after returning to Russia from Germany, where the politician was undergoing medical treatment. About 70 people took part in the action.

Recently it became known that the Russian Embassy received an information about the names, addresses, telephone numbers and identification numbers of the activists from the Lisbon city hall. The organizers of the action passed this information when they were preparing the rally.

The activists found out that Lisbon City Council had shared their information with the Russian authorities through an email from the Portuguese Health Ministry (which was providing them with the anticovid recommendations). Lisbon City Council acknowledged the mistake and issued an official apology.

One of the three activists, Pavel Elizarov, commented on the situation: « When we, the organizers of the action in Lisbon, accidentally realized that information had been sent to the Russian Embassy, we decided that this was a technical error of one of the employees of the mayor’s office. Now when the case became public, the mayor had to admit that it was a common practice, and not only with the Russian embassy, but also other countries like Venezuela, China and Angola. Some parties immediately demanded the resignation of the mayor of Lisbon. He made a public apology but refused to resign. But there will be new mayoral elections this fall, and this undermined his position very much. The situation has already been commented on by the President and the Prime Minister, but very succinctly. The President said that this is a regrettable situation, and the Prime Minister explained that city procedures are not in his area of responsibility, and that no one has any doubts about which side Portugal is on – he commented on this at the NATO summit». Pavel also added that this incident caused great worry, not only among activists. Some canceled planned trips and purchased flights. Answering the question about the security of the future rallies he said that he is confident that it was and remains safe, and that these actions were not malicious, during each action, the police ensure their safety, and there were no complaints or conflicts.

A rally in Lisbon on April 21, 2021.