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Moscow court upholds Golos association fine for refusing to register as "foreign agent"

June 14, 2013, 14:58 UTC+3

Golos fined for 300,000 roubles

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MOSCOW, June 14 (Itar-Tass) - Moscow's Presnya court upheld a 300,000-rouble fine on the Golos association for the protection of voters' rights for its refusal to be registered as a "foreign agent."

The court thereby turned down the association's appeal against the April 25 ruling by the magistrate court, which had found violation of the law on non-governmental organization in Golos operation.

Under the law adopted in the summer of 2012, a non-governmental organization performing the functions of "foreign agent" is a Russian NGO which receives funding or property from foreign states, international or foreign organizations, foreign citizens, persons without citizenship or their authorized representatives and/or Russian legal entities that receive funds or other property from the designated persons. Also, such an organization participates in politics in Russia, including in the interests of foreign sources.

The law commits such organizations to register as "foreign agent." Golos director Lilia Shibanova was fined 100,000 roubles.

"We refuse to be registered as "foreign agent" on principle, viewing our activity as public, not political," Shibanova earlier told Tass, adding that Golos would appeal with the Constitutional Court.

The Russian Justice Ministry reminded that since 2008, the association has been implementing the project to increase the transparency of the Russian electoral process on the basis of discussing and promoting a standardized Election Code.

"The objective of the project is to draw the public's attention to the necessity to amend the election legislation by adopting an entirely new legislative act - the Election Code. To promote the Code, the association shapes the public opinion by providing coverage of the draft Election Code. The public actions and events to promote the Election Code aim at influencing the decisions made by government bodies and forming the public opinion," the Justice Ministry said.


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