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New inspection at Civic Assistance

22 April 2013 

Source: (info
On 22 April at 12 noon, as always without prior warning, staff from the Public Prosecutor's Office and the Federal Migration Service, accompanied by a local police officer, entered the offices of Civic Assistance Committee to conduct an inspection. The inspectors closed off the Committee's premises and did not let out either employees, nor those who had come for assistance, nor visitors from France, who were visiting the Committee's offices on the eve of an academic conference. The inspection was being carried out on the basis of a statement by G. V. Fedorov, a member of the Public Chamber, who considers that the Committee is "an organization for illegal migration and for the legalization of illegals." 

Svetlana Gannushkina said that the statement, which in her opinion was tantamount to a denunciation, said that, in particular, "with the complicity of Civic Assistance Committee, Muslim extremists had been brought into Russia under the guise of Christian Copts from Egypt.” The main "guilty person" according to the statement was identified as Hadzh Ismail-Mohammed Basel, a citizen of Syria and an interpreter from Arabic to Russian, who has right of residence in Russia, and whose wife and children are Russian citizens.

"Instead of accusing Mr. Fedorov of libel, the FMC is verifying this absurdity," said Svetlana Gannushkina.

According to her, the inspectors found that among visitors to the Committee were three offenders: two citizens of the Republic of the Congo, who had been in breach of visa regulations, and who were now trying to go home to the Congo, and one Afghan, who is awaiting a court decision on awarding him refugee status. They had all come to the Committee for advice. According to Gannushkina, the conclusions of the inspectors about the three offenders, fully coincided with the recommendations of the Committee's lawyers. 

Gannushkina noted that the inspectors themselves realized the absurdity of their situation, but were forced to follow "directives from above".

On 27th March the first "comprehensive inspection" was conducted at the Civic Assistance Committee. Svetlana Gannushkina wrote about this visit:

"At Civic Assistance we had a representative from the public prosecutor's office accompanied by officials from the internal revenue service, the Justice Ministry and Federal Migration Service and the Ministry of the Interior. Altogether six people came to us: three from the Prosecutor's Office, one each from the Ministry of Justice and the internal revenue service – and also a representative of the Moscow local Federal Migration Service, who for some reason instead of Olympic Prospect went to the Olympic village instead, and so he was seriously delayed.

He's absolutely wild man, walked into the room, without introducing himself and went to check the documents ... of the 'non-Russians.'   And that was what he actually said, 'And now I'll check the documents of all the non-Russians.' 

Despite the manner in which the inspection was conducted, Civic Assistance Committee agreed to provide the requested documents."  

On 5th April, the leadership of the Committee decided to suspend providing the requested documents until the question of the basis and lawfulness of the inspection had been clarified. As the Committee’s head, Svetlana Gannushkina, stated at that time, this decision was taken 'in connection with change in the manner and content of the Public Prosecutor's Office in conducting the inspection of the organisation.' 

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