On the harassment of the Dynasty Foundation in Russia

posted 22 Jun 2015, 09:34 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 22 Jun 2015, 09:37 ]
18 June 2015

Source: HRO.org (info
Documents have already been prepared for the closure of the scientific and educational foundation Dynasty. The fine levied at the request of officials has increased the chance of the Foundation’s closure. However, during a meeting of the Foundation’s advisory board, dedicated to its long term future, representatives of Dynasty did not reach a unanimous opinion, Kasparov.ru reported on 18th June 2015, citing Kommersant

But at this same meeting the founder of the organisation, Dmitry Zimin, commissioned the preparation of documents required for the closure of Dynasty.

Legal procedures were begun against the Foundation under the provisions of the Article concerning ‘activity of non-profits that fulfil the function of a “foreign agent” but have not been entered in the register of such non-profits,’ Deutsche Welle comments.

“By law, foundations can be closed only by a court, hence the authorisation has been necessary,” said a representative of the Dynasty Foundation. “Zimin said that if the conflict were resolved in the meantime, then possibly there would be no closure. A fine is not an argument in favour of the future work of the Foundation.”

The representative also said that a final decision would be announced “in the ten days following 20th June”.

In the event of the closure of Dynasty, 20 educational and scientific programmes will shut down, that include support for young mathematicians, physicists, teachers. Dynasty had intended to spend 435 million roubles on these projects.

On 17th June 2015 a magistrate’s court in Moscow fined the Dynasty Foundation 300,000 roubles for breaking the law on non-profits.

On 25th May 2015 Dmitry Zimin’s Dynasty Foundation was added by the Russian Ministry of Justice to the register of ‘foreign agent’ non-profits.

The aim of the Foundation in particular is the development of fundamental science and education in Russia, the creation of conditions for the work of scientists in the country and the popularisation of science. During the years that it has been in existence, the Foundation has supported in total about 1,000 of students, postgrads and scientific workers in Russia.

The Memorial Human Rights Centre in a statement issued on the 'foreign agent' law emphasised: “…. The concept of the law on ‘foreign agents’ in essence is not based on the principle of the rule of law. There does not exist a single problem which this law would resolve. The aims of its instigators were deeply political and opportunistic, and its wording exemplifies, in a blatantly obvious manner, legal uncertainty. The law on ‘foreign agents’ in practice introduces a presumption of guilt of an artificially earmarked set of organisations…”

Russian NGOs have repeatedly expressed disagreement with the law and have appealed against it, including at the European Court of Human Rights. Human rights activists emphasise that the law has a clearly discriminatory character and has an extremely negative significance in the historical context.

However, discrimination against independent non-profits in Russia continues.

Translated by Frances Robson