On April 20, the official website of Ministry of Justice published information that “in accordance with the Federal Law on Nongovernmental organizations” on the list of NGOs acting as “foreign agents” Russian Ministry of Justice put Regional Public Charitable Organization for help to refugees and forced migrants – Civic Assistance Committee. The fact that the above-mentioned organization complies with criteria of NGO operating as “a foreign agent” was established during the Moscow prosecutor’s investigation”.
“We certainly will appeal to the district court against this decision. We also will file a petition to suspend proceedings on the decision of Ministry of Justice, since filing a complaint per se does not have suspensive effect. If our courts support the prosecutor’s office and Ministry of Justice, we will file a complaint with European Court of Human Rights for the breach of Articles 10, 11 and 14 of the Convention, ” — commented lawyer Kirill Koroteyev, the legal representative of Civic Assistance Committee.
The fact of being on a list of foreign agents imposes a number of obligations on Civic Assistance Committee. Any literature or information that the organization spreads through mass-media and on-line should be marked with a special status of “an agent”.
Narrative reports should be submitted not annually as the rest of NGOs do but every six months, financial reports – quarterly. Also our financial activities will be audited annually and the results should be published on the official website. In case of the Committee’s failure to fulfill these obligations, it will be fined.
– While reporting requirements are excessive, yet accomplishable, to tag materials with the status of foreign agent is totally unacceptable, – said Kirill Koroteyev.
We need to remind that Human Rights Committee after considering RF progress report, in April this year has appealed to Russian authorities to repeal a law on foreign agents, which contradicts regulations of International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which Human Rights Committee enforces.
The news appeared on the website of Ministry of Justice as soon as an extra meeting of the board of Civic Assistance Committee was finished. In the presence of the Chief Assistant Interdistrict Prosecutor, Meshchanskiy district, Kristina Buyanova, prosecutor’s recommendation from March 16 was discussed. During the meeting the following decisions were made:
– to amend the Charter of the organization taking into consideration requirements of Meshchanskiy Interdistrict Prosecutor as well as other amendments with regards to the development of the organization.
– to challenge the provision of Article 14, Federal Law “On Public Associations” as inappropriate to the Constitution of the Russian Federation owing to essential restriction of lawful activity of public associations.
– to suggest Meshchanskiy Interdistrict Prosecutor to withdraw the recommendation from 16. 03. 2015 regarding the requirement to submit the application to the list of the non-profit organizations acting as “foreign agents”. In case of refusal to withdraw, to appeal against representation in a judicial proceeding.
All these decisions remain in force.