The Russian Justice Ministry has proposed to authorize employees of supervisory agencies to suspend the activities of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), financed from abroad and refusing to register as NGO-foreign agents, out-of-court.
Relevant amendments are stipulated in a draft resolution of the Russian government on amending the provision on the federal state monitoring of NGOs' activities.
The document was posted on Tuesday on a single portal of legal information on drafting standard legal acts and results of their public discussion.
The Justice Ministry proposed in particular to expand the provision on monitoring NGOs with an amendment authorizing officials "to suspend for up to six months with their decision the activities of an NGO carrying out the functions of a foreign agent, which has not filed a statement on being included in the registry of NGOs carrying out the functions of a foreign agent stipulated in the federal law on NGOs, article 13.1 part 10."
Only one NGO - the assistance to competition development in CIS countries - is currently registered as a foreign agent in Russia. It was included in the registry on June 28, 2013. The NGO is located in Moscow.
The federal law, according to which all NGOs receiving Western grants should register with the Justice Ministry as foreign agents came into effect on November 21, 2012. Russian NGOs, including Memorial, Moscow Helsinki Group, Golos (Voice), have said they would not register as foreign agents.
After the law was passed a number of NGOs were subject to inspection by the prosecutor's office.
According to the information of the Prosecutor General's Office released in April 2014, the signs of political activities and foreign financing, exceeding six billion rubles in 2010-2013 and confirmed by documents, were found in 215 NGOs.
As of December 31, 2013, prosecutors have identified 24 organizations, to which the law on foreign agents is directly applicable.
Meanwhile, the Agora inter-regional association of human rights organizations said last autumn that most NGOs, in whose activities the prosecutor's office found violations of the law on foreign agents, have not been held liable.
According to information of human rights activists, not a single NGO, which received a warning or regarding which a case was opened, has been entered on the foreign agents' registry of the Justice Ministry.
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