Prosecutors and Ministry of Justice officials inspect offices of “League of Women Voters”

posted 27 Oct 2014, 05:21 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 27 Oct 2014, 05:24 ]
23 October 2014

Source: (info)
Radio Svoboda reports from St. Petersburg that on the evening of 21st October 2014 several people entered the offices of “The League of Women Voters”: two representatives from the prosecutor’s office, one from the Ministry of Justice, and two “representatives of the public.”

They alleged that they had received a complaint about the activities of the organisation, and insisted that the prosecutor’s office be provided with a long list of documents – documents which in any case have been with the prosecutors since this spring.

When Tatiana Dorutina, the chair of “The League of Women Voters”, invited the visitors to present their IDs, they all responded to her request, apart from the “representatives of the public”, whom she insisted should leave the premises.

“I remember well that we took to the prosecutor’s office all the requested documents on 4th May because it was Easter, but we had to go to work given the fact that they called to tell us to bring the documents immediately, having threatened an enormous fine –of 100,000 or 200,000 roubles.

So we immediately collected the documents and brought them over, and until now they have been lying around there and they have not done anything with them. At that time the officials from the prosecutor’s office just like that, but now they are saying that there is a complaint against us. When I asked to be shown this complaint, they answered that they didn’t have it with them, but didn’t explain anything to us – neither who had written it, nor what we had been accused of. They also kept the names of the “representatives of the public” secret, citing protection of personal data,” said Tatiana Dorutina.

In the near future she is planning to visit the prosecutor’s office accompanied by a lawyer.

Just at the time of the visit of the prosecutor’s representatives to the office of “The League of Women Voters” there was a meeting going on of the organising committee of the “March Against Hatred” – a traditional day of action for St Petersburg, earmarked for 2nd November. It is dedicated to the memory of the ethnologist Nikolai Girenko who was murdered by neo-nazis.

Some of the organising committee members believe that the unexpected appearance of the prosecutor’s officials could be connected with the forthcoming march, but Tatiana Dorutina is rather more inclined to perceive the visit as the start of a new wave of inspections of NGOs.

Radio Svoboda correspondent Tatiana Voltskaya comments that on the same day prosecutors also visited the organisation Citizens’ Watch.

Managers at Citizens’ Watch were given the very same reasons for the visit – allegedly a complaint of an unknown nature, submitted against the organisation by unknown persons.

Translated by Frances Robson