Statement by the Presidential Council on Civil Society & Human Rights

16 April 2013 

Source: (info)
"The Council takes an extremely negative view of the attempt to stop the holding of a special meeting scheduled for 15 April 2013 on the issue of ‘NGO Inspections: Resources Spent and Results Obtained’. An hour before the start of the Council meeting a fax arrived signed by a deputy of the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation, V. Ya. Grin, stating that the official to have been the chief speaker at the meeting, the acting head of the department for compliance with laws on federal security, inter-ethnic relations, and combating extremism and terrorism of the Prosecutor General A. G. Zhafyarov was busy with inspections. And this was when the date and time of the meeting, and the speakers, had all been agreed in good time with all the relevant ministries and departments.

We are grateful to the representatives of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (M. G. Vanichkin), the Ministry of Justice (T. V. Vaghina), the Russian Consumers Oversight Agency (O. I. Aksenova), and members of the Council E. A Topoleva-Sodunova and P. V. Chikov, who salvaged the meeting by their readiness to provide detailed information about the current inspections of NGO and answere numerous questions from members of the Council.  

We consider the failure of the representatives of the Prosecutor General to have represent a lack of respect for a consultative body of the President of the Russian Federation, and to constitute a demonstrative decision to ignore the instructions of the head of state concerning the compulsory requirement for bodies responsible for oversight and review to report on their activities.

We expect the Prosecutor General’s Office to put forward specific proposals for organizing a future meeting to report on the course of the mass inspections of NGOs.

The current statement has been agreed by consensus at a special meeting of the Council on 15 April 2013." 

Presidential Council on Civil Society and Human Rights