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Prosecutors take Perm Human Rights Centre to court once again

10 October 2013 

Source: (info
In Perm the Public Prosecutor’s Office is contesting a series of court decisions that dismissed charges against Perm Regional Human Rights Centre for allegedly violating the 'foreign agent' law, Federal Press reports, citing the press office of Perm Human Rights Centre. 

The regional Public Prosecutor’s Office in Perm believes that the judges have misinterpreted Russian legislation, and that their evaluations of the arguments presented earlier by the Prosecutor’s Office were not objective. As evidence of this bias, the Public Prosecutor’s Office points out that the court referred to a report by Perm Region Ombudsman. 

The Public Prosecutor’s Office continues to insist that Perm Human Rights Centre is using foreign money to undertake political activity, pointing out that the Centre has received funding from the United Nations. In its appeal, the prosecutors cite the Centre’s publication of the book Perm at the Crossroads: The Individual in a Tide of Reforms at the beginning of this year as proof of political activity, on the grounds that the book aims to change state policy and influence public opinion. It also refers to the publication by the Centre of an article by Roman Yushkov entitled “Komi-Permyaki: A View from the Bottom of the Abyss”. 

The Public Prosecutor’s Office continues to argue that Perm Human Rights Centre has been in violation of the law for a long period of time for refusing to register as a foreign agent. The public prosecutors are demanding that the July ruling of the magistrates’ court and the August judgment of the Lenin district court be overruled, and that the Human Rights Centre be held to account for acting as a foreign agent without registering as such. 

In August and September 2013 Perm’s Lenin district court dismissed appeals by the region’s Public Prosecutor’s Office and upheld the rulings of the magistrates’ courts which had found that three Perm NGOs had not violated administrative law in failing to register as foreign agents. Earlier this year, Perm Human Rights Centre received two substantial presidential grants amounting to over three million roubles.