Appeal to Medvedev against harrassment of NGOs

Appeal made to Dmitry Medvedev at his
meeting with the Russian Federation’s Government Expert Council not to harass


5 June, a meeting took place between the prime minister, Mr Medvedev and
members of the above council, following completion of its first year in office.


the meeting, Elena Topoleva-Soldunova, chief executive of the Committee on
Social Policy, Labour Relations and Quality of Life Issues of the Russian
Federation’s Public Chamber, summed up what the council had been doing in the
area of development of and support for the non-commercial sector. She said that
with the help of Open Government and the personal help of minister Mikhail
Abyzov, it had been possible to achieve a great deal. That included working up
a whole raft of measures to support socially oriented NGOs and steps being
taken to involve NGOs in the delivery of government services to the public.


the same time’, she observed, ‘only yesterday we found out that the
government’s commission on legislation had approved a bill conferring
additional powers on the ministry of justice for inspecting NGOs’. Ms Topoleva
thought that NGOs were currently being subjected to harsh control by the
government and, in that light, approval of the proposed legislation was a
negative move that boded even worse for the non-commercial sector.


the current situation, Ms Topoleva appealed to the ministers present at the
meeting and to the prime minister directly to discuss all questions concerning
NGOs on the open government site. She also suggested setting up a specialist
group for the purpose of evaluating the effectiveness of the inspections that
had been undertaken by the office of the public prosecutor general on which no
small amount of public money had been spent.


Dmitry Anatoleyevich (Medvedev), have proposed that business should not be
harassed. I am asking the same for the NGOs’ said Ms Topoleva. In reply, Mr
Medvedev promised to look into the bill on which he said he had as yet no

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