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Amnesty International condemns Russian court’s decision to uphold Golos fine

19 September 2013 

Source: (info)
“The decision by Moscow’s Basmany district court to reject the appeal of the regional organization Golos and its director against the heavy fine imposed on it, is one more violation of freedom of association and is directed against civil society in Russia,” said Sergei Nikitin, head of Amnesty International’s Russia representative office.

On April 25, 2013, the regional organization Golos became the first NGO to fall under the new law requiring all organizations that receive foreign funding and engage in political activity- a very vague wording of the law- to register as “foreign agents”.

According to the court, Golos has to pay a fine of 300,000 roubles. This organization was one of the leading independent observers monitoring violations during the 2011 parliamentary and 2012 presidential elections.

“The court’s decision to reject the appeal demonstrates not only the reluctance of the Russian authorities to end the pressure on civil society, but also the country’s lack of ineffective legal protection for independent NGOs”, said Sergei Nikitin.