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MOSCOW, December 05. /ITAR-TASS/. One hundred and twenty-four projects from 47 regions of the Russian Federation are the winners of a contest for receiving state grants for non-profit organizations (NPOs) engaging in human rights activities. Lists of the winners have been published on Thursday on the website of the Civic Dignity organization which carried out the contest.
According to Ella Pamfilova, Chairperson of the Civic Dignity, the contest involved 713 projects from over 100 cities and rural settlements of Russia, the website report says. "At the preliminary stage, following an expert examination, 246 applications were turned down because the listed projects obviously did not correspond to the themes of the competition or to its formal requirements," Pamfilova explained, specifying that among those turned-down applications "there were a lot of projects dealing with other aspects and which can well be filed in line with themes suggested by grant operators in a future contest".
Pamfilova said that 26 experts had been invited to evaluate the projects submitted for the contest. "They worked independently of one another and did not know who judges which application," she said.
As a result of the experts' work, 61 projects received their full support (two four-point marks) and more than 170 projects got two appreciative evaluations (three or four points).
Among grant winners are as follows: the movement "For Human Rights" which received 3.9 million rubles to establish "a rights incubator for human rights activists"; the International Protection Assistance Center (1.5 million rubles to set up a public counseling office for international protection of the rights of the individual), the Film Directors' Guild of Russia (about 1.4 million rubles for a "Human Rights cinematographic school); the Committee Against Tortures (1.8 million rubles for the project "Open Hall. Securing Access to Justice"); and the information analytical center Sova (about 950,000 rubles to develop and deepen public discussions on topical problems in the sphere of the freedom of conscience and secularity of the State").
Grants will be also awarded to the organization "Resistance" (4 million rubles for the project "Continuous Legal Education"); the Belgorod branch of the "Brothers-in-Arms" (1.4 million rubles to establish a center for the protection of the rights of family members of the fallen defenders of the Fatherland); the inter-regional fund promoting the development of civil society "The Voice of Ural" (7 million rubles for a project under the name of "Time for Honest Elections. Raising public confidence in the institution of elections through establishing a system of civil monitoring of the observance of the voters' rights and for arranging dialogue platforms"); and the Moscow Helsinki Group (3.3 million rubles "to develop a system of public monitoring through raising the efficiency of work of members of public observer commission").
Three point two billion rubles were assigned in 2013 for the implementation of socially significant projects of the NPOs.
On September 4, President Vladimir Putin, at a meeting of the Council on the Development of Civil Society and on Human Rights, announced the allocation of additional 200 million rubles in 2013 in grants to human rights activists. He said that, beginning from 2014, the State would allocate 500 million rubles every year in support of the rights NPOs, with grants to be distributed by the Ella Pamfilova-directed movement.
The Head of State said the granted resources must be distributed independently, "by NPOs themselves with the invitation of authoritative rights activists and respected civil society experts".