Public Verdict loses appeal against inclusion in ‘foreign agent’ list

posted 2 Oct 2015, 08:09 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 2 Oct 2015, 08:24 ]
28 September 2015

Source: (info

The Moscow City Court has upheld a decision by Zamoskvoretsky district court refusing to recognise as unlawful the inclusion of the Public Verdict Foundation on the list of “foreign agent” NGOs.

The Director of the Public Verdict Foundation, Natalya Taubina, posted the following on her Facebook page:

"Moscow City Court ignored the fact that the Zamoskvoretsky district court had failed to inform us of the date on which the case would be heard, and that the hearing took place in our absence (according to the Zamoskvoretsky district court records, we apparently asked for the appeal to be heard in our absence!!!), and that the case was heard before the entry into force of the court ruling on our appeal against the Public Prosecutor’s order which formed the basis for our inclusion on the Ministry of Justice’s list. In a nutshell, the Moscow City Court did not see fit to allow us to exercise our right to legal defence.

The presiding judge demonstrated a great deal of interest in our sources of funding and the amount of money we had received, but was completely uninterested in the dates involved. He also seemed interested in whether our exercise of the right to freedom of association could be deemed a political activity, and entirely uninterested in our provision of legal assistance.

The Ministry of Justice representative laid a great deal of emphasis on the fact that we had received funding from NED. She completely forgot to mention the dates involved, but she did not forget to mention that NED is a banned organisation. The court took only 30 seconds to agree on its decision. Now all that remains to be seen is how the court will manage to account for all of these circumstances in the text of its ruling in order to justify its recommendation to ‘leave the decision of the Zamoskvoretsky district court unchanged’.”

Public Verdict lodged an appeal in April asking for the decision by the Zamoskvoretsky district court to be overturned.

NED (National Endowment for Democracy) was included in the list of “undesirable organisations” at the request of the Russian Prosecutor-General’s Office.

Translated by Joanne Reynolds