Golos organization files complaint with European Court amid fines for violating NGO law

The Golos association has filed a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights amid the rulings of Russian courts to fine it for violating the law of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) - foreign agents, Acting Director of the Golos association Lilia Shibanova said.

The Golos association has filed a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights amid the rulings of Russian courts to fine it for violating the law of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) - foreign agents, Acting Director of the Golos association Lilia Shibanova said.

"We have filed a complaint with the Strasburg court and I think we will win this case," Shibanova told Interfax on Friday.

Shibanova said that it was necessary to resolve this issue at the international level.

"We will not go to courts in Russia anymore of course. There was an idea to go to the Constitutional Court. But there is no sense in it. There is sense now in only going to the Strasburg court. And in this regard, this is the only decision, which could help not only us but other NGOs as well," Shibanova said.

Moscow's Presnensky Court upheld the ruling on Friday of a lower court on two fines of 100,000 rubles ($3,000) to Shibanova and 300,000 rubles ($9,000) to the Golos association for violating the law on NGOs.

The law on NGOs that obliges non-governmental organizations that get funding from foreign countries to be registered as foreign agents took effect on November 21, 2012. Prosecutors, Justice Ministry and Federal Tax Service officials started checking the compliance of human rights organizations with the law in March 2013.

In April, the Justice Ministry opened an administrative case against the Golos association that refused to be registered as a foreign agent.

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