Week-ending 10 July 2020
At the end of last week (on 3 July 2020) the Board of EU-Russia Civil Society Forum issued a statement condemning the attack on Man and Law, a member of the Forum, that is currently appealing a decision to liquidate it in the Supreme Court of the Republic of Mari El. Man and Law (Человек и закон) is one of Russia’s best known and most effective human rights groups, although it is not based in Moscow or St. Petersburg, but in the Republic of Mari El.
Statement by the Board of the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum
Stop Liquidation Case against the Human Rights Organisation “Man and Law”
The Board of EU-Russia Civil Society Forum is outraged by the new attacks on independent non-profit organisations in Russia. The Supreme Court of the Mari El Republic is hearing the case of the “Man and Law” – a Forum member organisation. This trial may lead to the liquidation of the organisation – the only human rights NGO in the region.
The liquidation lawsuit was filed in February 2020 by the Republican Department of the Russian Ministry of Justice. Officials justify the liquidation of the organisation by numerous violations identified during the inspection in November 2019. However, our colleagues from “Man and Law” believe that all the inconsistencies were of technical nature, and they have already eliminated them. Unfortunately, this is not the first case when far-fetched, bureaucratic reasons are used to create obstacles to the activities of nonprofit organisations. Liquidation of the organization is an exceptional measure of the authorities, applied only in cases of gross and systematic violations by organisations and only when they refuse to eliminate them. This is certainly not the case of “Man and Law”. Moreover, the Republican Department of the Russian Ministry of Justice states in the clam’s elements that “the organisation publicly comments on the actions of the authorities and on the revealed law violations in its activity, thus promoting negative attitude towards the state (including state authorities) in the society”. Such element of claim totally contradicts the fundamental principles of the civil society organisations’ activity in the whole world. (Read more)