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Prosecutor-General explains reasons of NGO inspections to EU human rights commissioner

April 10, 2013, 15:14 UTC+3

Yuri Chaika explained that the inspections are being held in a routine fashion and in strict compliance with Russian legislation

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MOSCOW, April 10 (Itar-Tass) - Inspections of non-commercial organizations were one of the themes on the agenda of a working meeting between Russia’s Prosecutor-General Yuri Chaika and Council of Europe Human Rights Commissioner Nils Muiznieks on Wednesday.

As PGO spokeswoman Marina Gridneva has told Itar-Tass, Muiznieks touched upon the theme of NGO inspections.

“In that connection Yuri Chaika explained that the inspections are being held in a routine fashion and in strict compliance with Russian legislation,” Marina Gridneva said.

“He said that under the law adopted at the end of last year the NGOs receiving financing from outside the country are obliged to have themselves registered at the Justice Ministry in the capacity of foreign agents. However, so far not a single organization has undergone the corresponding registration, while their financing from outside the country has continued. Chaika mentioned a number of specific examples,” Gridneva said without disclosing what specific NGOs were mentioned at the meeting.

The Prosecutor-General “in particular pointed out that the measures being taken by the PGO are pre-emptive.”

“Nobody is banning the activity of these organizations. We merely issue warnings of the impermissibility of violating the law. The organization must declare openly the source of money it uses to finance its activity,” Chaika said. He recalled that in a number of countries, including the United States, there existed similar laws and their existence did not cause anybody’s negative reaction.

In the course of the meeting Chaika said that tight working contacts between the Prosecutor-General’s Office and the staff of the Russian commissioner at the European Court of Human Rights greatly contributed to building effective cooperation for the sake of achieving European standards in ensuring the rights and freedoms of citizens.

“We exchange information about the abuse of human rights and freedoms. At joint meetings we consider the results of the work to ensure their protection and cooperate in perfecting legislation in that sphere,” Chaika said.

He also told the CE commissioner the PGO in 2012 received more than 3.5 million appeals, and one in five were entertained.

“The protection of socially vulnerable groups of the population, the observance of the rights and interests of persons under age and the protection of the working rights of citizens is the prosecutors’ priority,” Chaika said.

The Council of Europe’s commissioner was briefed on the operation of the PGO efforts to eliminate systematic drawbacks that resulted in complaints to the ECHR over brutal treatment of detainees, suspects and accused.

Nils Muiznieks also asked a number of questions over the powers of the prosecutor’s office in supervising investigations, the prosecutors’ participation in criminal proceedings and a number of others.

“By and large he expressed satisfaction with the constructive dialogue and thanked Yuri Chaika for the opportunity to exchange opinion over a wide range of themes of interest,” Marina Gridneva said.

Chaika voiced the firm intention to maintain business-like relations of partnership with the CE commission for human rights and invited him to participate in the 18th annual conference and the general meeting of the International Association of Prosecutors, due in Moscow in September.



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