CHR recommmendations following NGO inspections

Council on Human Rights publishes recommendations arising from the results of a
special meeting: ‘Checks on non-profit organisations: resources used and
results achieved.’

Recommendations include approaches from government agencies, non-profit
organisations, civil activists and experts, which were received by the President
of the Russian Federation’s Council for the Development of Civil Society and
Human Rights (CHR) following the mass checks on Russian non-profit
organisations that have taken place in recent months. The Council says that the
document was adopted by consensus and will be sent to President Vladimir

According to the CHR, checks on non-profit organisations
have been carried out ‘without the required legal grounds.’ This is because the
prosecutor did not provide the organisations with information regarding the violations
of the law which had led to the checks had taken place. The CHR also notes that
checks were carried out ‘by inappropriate state bodies,’ in contravention of
Russian Federation legislation. 
According to the CHR, the only agency charged with carrying out federal
state supervision of the activities of non-profit organisations is the Russian
Ministry of Justice. Despite this, agencies
the Prosecutor General’s Office took an active part in the checks and were
effectively standing in for the Ministry of Justice.  The document also states that ‘checks that were
carried out went beyond the statutory procedures for state federal supervision
of the activities of non-profit organisations.  In the view of the CHR, references made by
representatives of the Prosecutor General’s Office to the planned nature of
checks on non-profit organisations are in contravention of the law ‘On the
Prosecutor’s Office of the Russian Federation.’


The CHR proposes to introduce changes to the existing
legislation ‘On Non-Profit Organisations’ by changing the definition,
‘non-profit organisation performing the function of a foreign agent’ to
‘non-profit organisation financed through foreign sources.’ All non-profit
organisations which receive money from overseas, irrespective of their
activities, will be included in this definition. Besides this, there is a
proposal to regulate legally the format for carrying out prosecutor’s checks in
line with F3 ‘On Rights Protection of Legal Entities and Individual Entrepreneurs
during State and Municipal Control (Supervision) Actions.’


Recalling the president’s statement about ‘…the
billions of dollars going into the accounts of Russian non-profit
organisations,’ the CHR is requesting that Alexander Konovalov, the Minister
for Justice, and Yuri Chikhanchin, Director of the Federal Financial Monitoring
Service, publish information regarding precise sums of money, sources of funds
and its intended use.


The CHR is requesting that Yuri Chaiku give his
reaction to the many reports of the illegal activities performed by prosecutors
during the course of checks. It is also recommending the planning of further
checks involving the Ombudsman for Human Rights in the Russian Federation and
the Council and Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation. In a separate point in
the list of recommendations, a request is made to President Putin regarding the
creation of ‘a fund to gather public finances and donations from legal entities
and private individuals, which will provide support for Russian human rights
organisations.’  It is proposed that a
supervisory council for the fund be formed, comprising people trusted both by
the human rights community and by the state.


Full text available on the CHR site:


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