Golos NGO is silenced for three months

Ministry of Justice suspends activities of a nongovernmental organization that has been recognized as a foreign agent.

Ministry of Justice suspends activities of a nongovernmental organization that has been recognized as a foreign agent.

“The Chief Directorate of the Ministry of Justice of the [Russian Federation] in Moscow has decided to suspend the activities of the Golos—a regional, public organization that protects rights and freedoms—because the organization has not filed an application to be included in the register of nonprofit organizations acting as foreign agents. Its activities have been suspended for a period of three months, until December 30, 2013,” the Ministry statement reads.

The Golos NGO monitors elections at all stages. The Golos Association has become the first nonprofit organization against which administrative proceedings have been instituted, because the NGO was not registered as a foreign agent. According to the Ministry of Justice, the Golos continues to receive foreign money and is engaged in political activities.

In June, the regional public organization Golos and the main association of the same name were recognized as foreign agents and required to pay a fine of 300,000 rubles (nearly $9,300) for breaking the law. In the event of such a suspension of activities, the organization cannot hold public events, conduct financial activities, or act as a founder of media channels.

Grigory Melkonyants, representative of the Golos movement, said that human rights activists had expected such a turn of events, but they are not planning to do anything about it. It turns out that this NGO is no longer functioning, and now a new organization has taken over its activities—the Golos movement, bearing the same name as the NGO and aimed at protecting the rights of voters.

“This is the second organization against which they filed claims long ago. This is not our new organization; it is our old organization. We expected such a decision, and we do not see anything terrible for us here. We do not plan to take any measures,” said the human rights activist.

First published in Russian in RIA Novosti.

All rights reserved by Rossiyskaya Gazeta.

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