Women of the Don: Valentina Cherevatenko on the price to pay for removal from the ‘foreign agent’ register

posted 9 Apr 2016, 07:52 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 9 Apr 2016, 07:55 ]
7 April 2016

Source: HRO.org (info)
The Ministry of Justice has taken the non-governmental human rights organization, the Union of Women of the Don off the register of so-called ‘foreign agents’. The organization has been forced to refuse foreign donations towards its projects, which has resulted in its being less able to work effectively.

The chair and coordinator of the Union,Valentina Cherevatenko, stated that the Ministry of Justice had based its decision on the results of an inspection of last year’s activities which confirmed that the organization had received no funding from foreign sources.

Article20 reports that, despite this, the Union intends to apply to the European Court of Human Rights with a claim against its previously being given the status of ‘foreign agent’.

“We aim to get recognition that including the ‘Women of the Don’ in the register was legally incorrect because our organization is not involved in political activities” said Valentina Cherevatenko. A date for the hearing has not yet been set.

The Union ‘Women of the Don’ was set up in Novocherkassk in 1993. The organization provides advice services for those living in the town and neighbouring districts, on issues connected with the family, labour rights, pensions and housing legislation, and also reviews enquiries from those called up for conscription and their parents. In June 2014 the Ministry of Justice of the Russian federation arbitrarily included the Union ‘Women of the Don’ in the register of NGO ‘foreign agents’.

Now, according to Valentina Cherevatenko, the fact that it no longer accepts foreign funding means that the organization has almost no way of working together with colleagues from other regions with whom, earlier, it had worked effectively.

Translated by Mary McAuley