Information refused on NGOs’ ‘billions’ from abroad
Ministry of Justice refuses to say which NGOs have received
‘billions’ in funding from abroad
NGOs have asked the ministry of justice to specify which organisations have
received billions in foreign funding as declared by president Putin. The
ministry has responded to the effect that the information was supplied to it by
the Federal Service for Financial Monitoring (FSFM) and may not be disclosed.
The reply was signed by the deputy director of the ministry’s department
dealing with NGOS.
11 April a letter signed by 58 chief executives of Russian NGOs, requesting
that the list of 654 NGOs alleged to have received 28 billion roubles from
abroad be made public, was sent to the president. The signatories received a
reply from the presidential administration stating that their request had been
referred to the ministry of justice ‘on the basis that this is the competent
department for dealing with the questions raised’.
ministry responded by saying that the information requested ‘belongs to a
restricted official category’ and ‘may not be disclosed by the federal ministry
of justice without appropriate permission from the FSFM. It referred to article
14.1 of the Law on NGOs, and paragraph 1.2 of Government Decree No 1233 of 3
November 1994 which prescribes the procedures to be followed by the executive
organs when handling restricted official information.
the opinion of Yuri Dzhibladze, president of the Centre for the Development of
Democracy and Human Rights and a signatory of the above letter, ‘the allegation
that NGOs received billions from abroad
during one quarter’ was made to justify the inspections. ‘Clearly, the
departments are now trying “to pass the buck” and play for time while the
inspections* are taking place and the court sittings are starting’, said
Dzhibladze on his Facebook page. He emphasised that ‘the representatives of
civil society are continuing to demand disclosure’ and that the next step would
be to write to the FSFM.
is a reference to a series of unscheduled inspections of NGOs being currently
undertaken by various ministries and the prosecutor general’s office with the
aim of detecting contraventions of the law on ‘foreign agents’ (Translator).