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Statement by members of Public Chamber on repeat inspection of Civic Assistance

26 April 2013 

Source: (info)
“In the last few months we have witnessed unprecedented pressure by government inspection agencies on non-profit organisations, most of which enjoy well-deserved confidence in both Russia and abroad. The inspections en masse of NGOs have already led to an undermining of Russians’ confidence in the third sector as a whole, and, ultimately, to a restriction of the realm of public freedom. 

In this context, our fellow member of the Public Chamber, Georgy Fedorov, appealed to the Prosecutor General's Office, to the Federal Migration Service and to the Federal Security Service with a request to inspect the activities of the Civic Assistance Committee. According to Mr Fyodorov, Civic Assistance is "importing extremist Muslims into Russia under the guise of Coptic refugees from Egypt."

Civic Assistance and its leader, Svetlana Gannushkina, are well known to us. This highly respected organization has provided support for many years to refugees and other categories of immigrants (and sometimes simply saves lives), defends the victims of crimes motivated by ethnic hatred and helps foreigners adapt to life in Russia.

The work of the organization is transparent and fully legitimate, as was, it should be said, confirmed by the recent inspection. Personally Svetlana Gannushkina has an impeccable reputation and enjoys enormous confidence within the human rights community.

All this makes us consider that the allegations made by Mr Fedorov about Civic Assistance are groundless and defamatory.

Members of the Public Chamber: 
Boris Altshuler 
Mikhail Blinkin 
Sergei Volkov 
Alla Gerber 
Pavel Gusev 
Yelena Lukyanova 
Daria Miloslavskaya 
Konstantin Mikhailov 
Elena Topoleva 
Nikolai Svanidze 
Henry Reznik" 

Source: Public Chamber of the Russian Federation