Posts Tagged ‘russian ngo’

Russian Rights Defender Gannushkina Fined For Refusing Documents

June 26, 2013

Svetlana Gannushkina(Svetlana Gannushkina)
Prominent Russian human rights activist Svetlana Gannushkina has been fined for refusing to provide documents demanded by prosecutors. A court in Moscow ruled late on June 18 that the chairwoman of Moscow-based Civic Collaboration Committee must pay 2,000 rubles (50 Euro) for failing to turn over papers related to the financial activities of her organization. Gannushkina, a Soviet-era veteran rights defender, has been refusing to provide the documents to investigators since April. Prosecutors made the request under the new law requiring all nongovernmental organizations that receive foreign funding and engage in political activity to register as ‘foreign agents’. [Last week, a Moscow court rejected an appeal by Russia’s independent election monitor, Golos, against the 300,000 ruble $9,500 fine imposed on the group under the legislation.] Based on reporting by Interfax and ITAR-TASS

via Russian Rights Defender Fined For Refusing Demand For Documents.

 

Russia now tries to cut CAT under ‘Foreign Agents’ Law

May 2, 2013

Frontline NEWlogos-1 condensed version - croppedreports that on 22 April 2013 the Committee Against Torture (CAT) is the next NGO received a letter of warning from the local Prosecutor’s Office. The letter alleges that CAT is violating the controversial new ‘Foreign Agents’ Law, which states that any Russian NGO involved in political activity and receiving foreign funding must register as a foreign agent.

CAT processes complaints about torture and inhuman or degrading treatment, carries out public investigations, represents the victims’ interests in court and before investigative bodies, and provides assistance with obtaining compensation.  The letter from the Prosecutor’s Office states that CAT receives funds from sources outside of Russia, information which is freely available on CAT’s website. The letter also states that CAT has taken part in certain public events, unidentified in the letter, which the authorities consider to be political. According to the authorities, therefore, CAT should have registered as a foreign agent.  Read the rest of this entry »

Russia pursues its policy of labeling human rights defenders as ‘foreign agents’

April 26, 2013

In spite of protests by many NGOs and Governments around the world (including earlier posts in this blog), Russia seems bent on pursuing its idea of requiring all organisations which receive foreign funding and are engaged in political activity to register as ‘foreign agents’ [‘Foreign Agents’ Law of 21 November 2012] . After the passing of the law, GOLOS, Memorial and the Joint Mobile Group (just made the Final Nominee of the MEA 2013) and many other organisations declared that out of principle they would not register as ‘foreign agent’.

Yesterday, 25 April 2013, the Russian election watchdog GOLOS became the first NGO to be fined. The decision was taken by the Presnensky Court of Moscow. GOLOS is a Russian non-profit organisation which was founded in 2000 for the protection of voters’ rights and the development of civil society.  The court found that GOLOS had been receiving foreign funding, thereby implying that it considered the 2012 Andrei Sakharov Freedom Award  as such, despite testimony given by a representative of Norwegian Helsinki Committee who confirmed that GOLOS actually refused to receive the 7700$. The court also found that the advocacy work of GOLOS aimed at the introduction of amendments to the Electoral Code constitute ‘political activity’. The law does not define political activity, the precise definition of which depends on state officials’ interpretation.  The court ruled that GOLOS and its executive director Lilya Shibanova failed to comply with the obligation to register as a ‘foreign agent’ and fined them 300,000 roubles (approximately €7500) and 100,000 roubles (approximately €2500) respectively. They intend to appeal the decision.

And on 24 April Front Line Defenders reported that the Russian NGO ‘Man and the Law’ has been warned under the same Foreign Agents Law. Man and the Law, which is based in the Mari-El Republic in Russia, received a warning from the local Prosecutor’s Office re ‘political activity’, evidence for which has allegedly been found in their Charter and on their website.  Man and the Law is a local non-governmental organisation which monitors local officials’ and civil servants’ compliance with human rights standards. The NGO also works on prisoners’ rights and monitors detention facilities and organises seminars and workshops for local officials, especially from the Federal Penitentiary Service. The warning also states that the latest inspection of the organisation revealed foreign sources of funding, in which case Man and the Law should have registered as a foreign agent.Frontline NEWlogo-2 full version - cropped

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Igor Kalyapin, the 2nd OMCT Portrait against Torture and Impunity

December 3, 2012

The second portrait in the series of 10 HRDs against Torture is: Igor Kalyapin, founder and chair of Russian NGO Committee Against Torture (CAT).

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The main obstacle we have is the same to the reason of torture: lack of effective investigation and absolute lack of will to investigate. Every case is a challenge and we never know for how many years we have to commit ourselves to deal with each of them.

Do you feel threatened because of your activities? Do you face any interference in your work? If this is the case, can you kindly precise.

Recently, we have started to face threats: our lawyers are targeted, some of them are approached by state agents, some of them were arrested, some of them were insulted. I myself now am facing a real threat to be accused of a crime that I have never committed (speaking out of investigational secret).

………………………

Public campaigns (as illustrated in the picture), support of the victims of torture, write support letters, can play a very important role in the fight against torture.

 

http://www.omct.org/human-rights-defenders/events/2012/12/d22055/