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Russia's State Duma to review second reading of government bill on NGOs

February 11, 2014, 10:52 UTC+3 MOSCOW
If adopted, the new legislation allows an inspection of NGO if an authorized agency receives information from government or local self-rule bodies about a violation by of Russian legislation
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Russia's State Duma

Russia's State Duma

© ITAR-TASS [Archive]

MOSCOW, February 11. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia's State Duma on Tuesday will review the second reading of the government bill on additional reasons for unscheduled checks of non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Earlier, the house committee for public associations and religious organizations recommended the parliament to approve the 2nd and 3rd reading of the document.

The first reading took place in October 2013.

If adopted, the new legislation allows an inspection of NGO if an authorized agency receives information from government or local self-rule bodies about a violation by non-governmental organization of Russian legislation or the presence of signs of extremism in its activity. Inspections can also be carried out upon the request of election commission.

In addition, an NGO inspection is substantiated by an order by head of an authorized body, issued in accordance with presidential or governmental instruction, or a prosecutor's demand for unscheduled check.

Under the effective legislation, unscheduled checks can only apply to NGOs - "foreign agents." The authors of the bill believe that their amendments allow for observing the constitutional principle of equality of all before the law.

According to the Justice Ministry, 6,497 NGOs were checked in 2012, or 3% of registered NGO. Just 206 NGOs (3%) were subjected to unscheduled checks. "Under the effective legislation, an authorized body has no opportunity at present to timely respond to the information about violations of Russian laws by non-governmental organizations, which considerably reduces the effectives of federal supervision over NGO activity," the authors of the document underlined.

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