Federal Ombudsman Vladimir Lukin sues St Petersburg Public Prosecutor's Office

16 September 2013

HRO.org (info
Federal Human Rights Ombudsman, Vladimir Lukin, has filed a lawsuit against the St. Petersburg Public Prosecutor's Office. The application is connected with the illegal actions of staff of the supervisory authority of the city's Petrograd district during an inspection of the NGO St Petersburg Aegis.

A hearing will take place on 18 September at 11:00 in Petrogradsky district court. The hearing will be attended by representatives of the Russian Ombudsman's office, as well as of the NGO, reports Rosbalt.

"It is disappointing that the Prosecutor's Office, which is supposed to ensure compliance with legislation, is itself flagrantly violating the law. We are confident that the court will force prosecutors to comply with the laws and constitutional rights of citizens," said Rima Sharifullina, President of the NGO St Petersburg Aegis.

Members of the NGO appealed to the Human Rights Ombudsman in May 2013.

Prosecutors first turned up at the office of St Petersburg Aegis on 20 March 2013. Four people came to the organisation, but only one of them presented any kind of documentation of an assistant prosecutor, and the others did not even introduce themselves. One of the unknown individuals even made a video recording.

As the activists point out, this all constitutes a flagrant violation of the inspection procedures stipulated in the law on the Public Prosecutor's Office. The unknown individuals demanded that documents be produced for the entire period of the organisation's activities. Following this visit, St. Petersburg Aegis sent an application to the regional Prosecutor's Office seeking clarification of the reasons for the inspection, the credentials of the individuals who visited the office, as well as a list of required documents and the period for which it was necessary to produce them.

However, after a lengthy correspondence, it proved impossible to get clear answers to the questions posed.

The Human Rights Ombudsman of St Petersburg did receive a response to the request he sent to the Prosecutor's Office: the matter was under being monitored. The Ombudsman forwarded material concerning the illegal activities of the prosecutors to the office of the FederalHuman Rights Ombudsman, which has submitted an application to the Court.

In turn, St Petersburg Aegis also sent a statement to Petrograd district court in connection with the unlawful actions of members of the Prosecutor's Office. A hearing for this case has not yet been scheduled.