Association of Victims of Torture to begin work in Nizhny Novgorod

posted 12 Feb 2015, 11:24 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 12 Feb 2015, 11:27 ]
11 February 2015

Source: (info)
The Association of Victims of Torture is to begin work in Nizhny Novgorod, reports, citing members of the Association’s coordinating committee, Aleksei Lyapin and Aleksei Yakimov at a press conference on January 10 in the Volga region Interfax press centre.

According to Aleksei Yakimov, the reason for the establishment of the organisation has been the decision by the Ministry of Justice to designate the Committee Against Torture as a ‘foreign agent’ NGO. He stressed that members of the organisation do not agree with being assigned this status.

Yakimov added that such a label, attached to the Committee because the organisation works partly with money received from abroad, is extremely offensive. “If not for these funds, we would not be able to fully pay for the treatment of victims of beatings and torture by ‘criminals in uniforms,’” said Yakimov. He also added that the negative attitude towards the Committee Against Torture came about because, in the view of the authorities, the NGO portrays the work of state bodies in a negative light and highlights cases of torture in the media.

A week ago, the first session of the Association of Victims of Torture took place, attended by around 16 people from Nizhny Novgorod region. The first steps of the Association will be to hold a picket outside the office of the Nizhny Novgorod regional prosecutor in support of the Committee.

The head of the Committee Against Torture, Igor Kalyapin, stated that the decision by the Ministry of Justice will be appealed and if the courts uphold it, the Committee will be forced to dissolve.

The decision to add the Committee Against Torture to the register of ‘foreign agent’ NGOs was taken by the Ministry of Justice on January 16 2015.

Translated by Nathalie Corbett