MOSCOW, April 2 (Itar-Tass) – Russia’s human rights ombudsman, Vladimir Lukin, has told a news conference he would look into progress in the ongoing massive inspections of non-governmental organizations.
“The inspections are already looking as a campaign. I mentioned that a meeting with the president. I said that I am surprised at the how simultaneous the inspections were, as well as at the list of organizations being inspected.” Lukin said he had dispatched queries to all inspecting agencies, from the Prosecutor-General’s Office to fire-fighter services.” Also, he asked the human rights organizations, including Memorial and the Moscow Helsinki Group to present accounts of how the inspections were conducted and whether the law was observed.”
“We shall report our findings to the president and society,” Lukin said.
For his part, the deputy chief of the ombudsman’s staff, Georgy Kunadze, said over 100 organizations in 44 territories of Russia had been inspected already.
Earlier, President Vladimir Putin asked Lukin to keep an eye on PGO inspections in order to avoid distortions.
“I shall ask you to keep everything under control, so that I have an extra source of information. I would like to ensure there should be no excessive pressures,” Putin told Lukin. “These inspections are routine measures. The law enforcement agencies wish to bring the activity of organizations in line with the law.”