Putin’s Pre-emptive Strike: Kremlin Moves to Liquidate ‘Foreign Agents’

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Daria Litvinova – February 19, 2015) Activist Pavel Chikov could react only with sarcasm when a court handed down a winding up order against his Agora legal advocacy association. “As the first NGO ever to have been liquidated in a Russian court, we are so proud,” he wrote on Twitter. The next day, another organization, […]

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Justice Ministry Refuses to Remove Elections Monitor Golos from ‘Foreign Agents’ List

Arm and Torso of Person in Brown Sweater Placing Paper Ballot into Ballot Box

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 8, 2015) Russia’s Justice Ministry has refused to exclude independent elections watchdog Golos from the list of “foreign agents,” the Vedomosti newspaper reported Wednesday. Golos said on Twitter back in July that the ministry had begun the process of removing it from the list. Ruling that its inclusion was an “error,” the ministry also […]

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Golos reports numerous electoral violations

Arm and Torso of Person in Brown Sweater Placing Paper Ballot into Ballot Box

MOSCOW. Sept 14 (Interfax) – The movement Golos, which campaigns for voters’ rights, said in commenting on the outcome of the unified voting day that the elections in Russia had taken place with numerous violations, and that use of administrative technologies had been involved. “Bearing in mind the outcome of the public monitoring of the September 13 elections, we believe […]

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Russian Election Monitoring NGO Golos Removed from Foreign Agents List

Arm and Torso of Person in Brown Sweater Placing Paper Ballot into Ballot Box

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – July 23, 2015) The Justice Ministry is revoking the registration of election-monitoring group Golos as a “foreign agent” and has refunded the fines the non-governmental organization has paid for refusing to register voluntarily, the group said. In a surprise announcement that followed searches at the organization’s offices and its employees’ homes earlier […]

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Russian Constitutional Court says election monitor not “foreign agent”

Russian Constitutional Court file photo

(Interfax – May 27, 2015) Russia’s Constitutional Court has again stated that a non-governmental organization (NGO) does not have to declare itself as a “foreign agent” if it has not used funds sent to its accounts from foreign sources, privately-owned Russian news agency Interfax reported on 27 May. The court made the statement, published on its website, in response to […]

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Russia’s Golos Has ‘Foreign Agent’ Status Removed

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – September 08, 2014) The head of the independent Russian electoral rights group Golos (Voice) says a Moscow city court has overturned a decision that the organization had to be registered as a “foreign agent” with authorities. Grigori Melkonyants said the court accepted the appeal of Russian Human Rights Commissioner Ella Pamfilova, who asked the Moscow court to review […]

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Interfax: Golos association to contest inclusion on registry of NGOs-foreign agents in court

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

MOSCOW. June 9 (Interfax) – The Golos (Voice) association said it intended to contest in court the fact that the Russian Justice Ministry included it on the registry of non-governmental organizations (NGO) – foreign agents. “This will not affect our work in any way. The association is in the process of liquidating itself. As to the regional organization, it has […]

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Interfax: Hearing of Memorial, Golos Complaints Against Prosecutors Postponed Until February

Kremlin and St. Basil's

MOSCOW. Nov 18 (Interfax) – The Moscow Zamoskvoretsky Court has postponed until February 4, 2014 the hearing of the complaint filed by the human rights center Memorial about the prosecutors’ demand to register as a foreign agent. Thus, the court has postponed the hearing of the human rights activists’ until the Strasbourg court or the Russian Constitutional Court give their […]

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Home voting could have distorted outcome of Moscow mayoral elections – Golos movement

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Interfax – MOSCOW, September 9, 2013) Human rights activists call the organization of the Sunday mayoral elections in Moscow exemplary but quoting their own sources say that a runoff could be held to determine the mayor. “There were no crude breaches of law, but there were subtle irregularities which we still have to study,” cochairman of Golos movement council Grigory […]

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Golos doesn’t find serious violations during Moscow mayoral election

Arm and Torso of Person in Brown Sweater Placing Paper Ballot into Ballot Box

(Interfax – MOSCOW, September 8, 2013) Human rights defenders did not find any serious violations that might influence the outcomes of the Moscow mayoral elections as of the moment polling stations closed down. “No such violations were recorded as of the moment polling stations closed down. But another important procedure, the count of votes, is still ahead,” Golos co-leader Grigory […]

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Interfax: Golos denies reported emigration of its head Liliya Shibanova

Arm and Torso of Person in Brown Sweater Placing Paper Ballot into Ballot Box

(Interfax – MOSCOW, September 5, 2013) One of the leaders of the Golos movement Grigory Melkonyants has refuted rumors that the movement is wrapping up its activities in Russia and that another leader of the NGO Liliya Shibanova emigrated. “This is a special hoax ahead of the elections in order to discredit the activity of Golos,” Melkonyants told Interfax on […]

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Interfax: Golos doesn’t expect vote-rigging in Moscow, Moscow region

Arm and Torso of Person in Brown Sweater Placing Paper Ballot into Ballot Box

(Interfax – MOSCOW, September 5, 2013) There will be no vote-rigging in Moscow, the Moscow region, or any other regions of Russia, the Golos movement said. “The situation in some regions has changed dramatically, primarily in Moscow and the Moscow region. I am almost confident that there will be no direct vote-rigging on the voting day and the ballots will […]

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Leader of Embattled Elections Watchdog Has Left Russia, Report Says

Arm and Torso of Person in Brown Sweater Placing Paper Ballot into Ballot Box

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – September 5, 2013) A leader of the independent election watchdog Golos has left Russia to continue her work abroad due to a lack of financial support from the state, a news report said Thursday. Lilia Shibanova said she saw no point in remaining in Russia after Golos was barred from observing nationwide elections in June […]

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Golos Reborn in Time for Election Day

Arm and Torso of Person in Brown Sweater Placing Paper Ballot into Ballot Box

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Yekaterina Kravtsova – August 21, 2013) Sitting in a tiny room that serves as a temporary office for elections watchdog Golos, Grigory Melkonyants, a senior member of the now defunct organization, is full of enthusiasm. Despite the roller-coaster ride the organization has been through in recent months caused by sanctions placed on it by the […]

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Audit Says Golos Owes 2.3M Rubles in Back Taxes

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – July 19, 2013) The Federal Tax Service has accused election watchdog Golos of not paying 2.28 million rubles ($70,200) in income taxes in 2009-10 on funding it received from USAID, in what rights activists see as the latest in a string of state attacks on independent observers. Auditors from Tax Inspectorate No. 9 concluded that […]

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Golos hopes to receive state grant, to reset relations with authorities

File Image of Map of Russia for Polling Place Webcams

(Interfax – MOSCOW, July 15, 2013) The Russian voter rights movement Golos (Voice) said it counted on receiving 14 million rubles from the state budget for its program whose aim is to increase public confidence in elections. “We have drafted a project, which is aimed at increasing society’s trust in the voting infrastructure and have written an application, which we […]

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Golos NGO pays both fines for refusal to register as foreign agent

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Interfax – June 28, 2013) The Golos non-governmental association has paid fines imposed by court for refusing to register as a foreign agent. “We fulfilled the court ruling categorically and paid both fines imposed,” Golos Deputy Director Grigory Melkonyants told Interfax on June 27. On April 25, the magistrate precinct of Moscow’s Presnensky Court fined Golos 300,000 rubles ($9,000) and […]

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Independent Russian Election Watchdog To Create Replacement Despite Suspension

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(RIA Novosti – Moscow, June 26, 2013) The suspension by the Justice Ministry of the operation of the Golos (Voice, or Vote) association will not prevent its leaders from registering a new and similar organization; moreover, Golos has recently launched the winding-up procedure, deputy executive director of the association Grigoriy Melkonyants has told RIA Novosti. The Justice Ministry has suspended […]

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Russian rights veterans issue statement in support of ‘foreign agent’ NGOs

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Interfax – Moscow, June 6, 2013) A number of Russian rights activists have stood up for the Golos NGO and other organizations that have been labelled foreign agents, saying that their work should not be labelled political. “Accusations about NGOs taking part in political activities strikes out citizens’ constitutional rights,” reads Rights Council statement released in Moscow on Thursday (6 […]

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Golos received money from Switzerland, Norway – Justice Ministry

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Interfax – MOSCOW. June 5, 2013) Rosfinmonitoring is monitoring the receipt by Russian NGOs of funding from abroad and reports to the Justice Ministry on a monthly basis, Justice Ministry official Tatyana Vagina said. Rosfinmonitoring provides information to the Justice Ministry for internal use, Vagina said. “If an NGO does not provide information on funding received from abroad despite information […]

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Second Russian NGO fined under ‘foreign agent’ law

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Interfax – May 29, 2013) A group based 300 km northeast of Moscow has become the second Russian non-governmental organization to be fined under a controversial new law that obliges NGOs to register as “foreign agents” if they receive funding from abroad and are deemed to be involved in “political activities”, the privately-owned Russian news agency Interfax reported on 29 […]

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Kremlin Faces Barbs From All Sides on Human Rights

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Jonathan Earle – May 21, 2013) Russia is facing a renewed barrage of international criticism, led by the European Union, over its human rights record in connection with an ongoing clampdown on non-governmental organizations and a State Duma proposal to ban so-called “homosexual propaganda.” The EU on Friday expressed growing concerns about the situation, including […]

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Golos vote-monitoring association may be suspended if not registered as foreign agent – official

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Interfax – MOSCOW, May 15, 2013) The operations of the Golos association specializing in monitoring elections in Russia may be suspended for half a year if a court recognizes it as a foreign agent but it still refuses to be registered as such, a Justice Ministry official has said. Speaking at a roundtable discussion at the State Duma on Wednesday, […]

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Leading Russian human rights groups speak out for embattled NGO

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Interfax – Moscow, April 17, 2013) Heads of leading Russian NGOs disagree with accusations levelled by the authorities at the human rights association Golos facing a heavy fine. “We think it is absurd to say that the organization that led the fight for fair elections in Russia is acting in the interests of foreign states and is a foreign agent,” […]

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‘Foreign Agent’ Election Watchdog Told to Vacate Office

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(RIA Novosti, MOSCOW, April 12, 2013) ­ Russian election watchdog Golos (Vote, or Voice) has been given notice to vacate its office in Moscow with no explanation, the non-governmental organization’s deputy director Grigory Melkonyants told RIA Novosti on Friday. “Our rental contract is still valid, but the new lessor has informed us they are breaking the contract ahead of its […]

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Justice Ministry Refuses to Check Golos Election Watchdog

Arm and Torso of Person in Brown Sweater Placing Paper Ballot into Ballot Box

(Moscow TImes – themoscowtimes.com – February 26, 2013) The Justice Ministry has refused to conduct a check into election watchdog Golos’ compliance with recently passed legislation requiring foreign-funded organizations to register as “foreign agents” despite over 100 requests to do so. The ministry received 120 requests to recognize Golos as a foreign agent, and 350 such requests for the Levada […]

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NEWSLINK: Russian lawmakers back adoption ban in row with U.S.

Russian Orphanage file photo

[Russian lawmakers back adoption ban in row with U.S. – Reuters – Alissa de Carbonnel – December 21, 2012 – http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/12/21/russia-adoptions-idUSL5E8NL4FK20121221] Reuters covers the Duma’s support for a ban on U.S. citizens adopting Russian children, as well as a ban on U.S. nonprofits funding Russian democratization nonprofits, in retaliation for Congressional efforts to hold Russian human rights abusers accountable: Russia’s […]

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Golos Vows to Carry on Monitoring Despite USAID Moscow Office Shutdown

Arm and Torso of Person in Brown Sweater Placing Paper Ballot into Ballot Box

MOSCOW. Sept 20 (Interfax) – The independent election monitor Golos is searching for Russian sponsors to substitute grants from the closing Moscow office of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Golos said some of its projects were endangered by the USAID pullout. “Nevertheless, we will continue election monitoring no matter what,” says the Golos statement received by Interfax […]

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