“The voice” wrote a record fine for violating the law on “foreign agents”

That Presnensky court of Moscow has fined movement for fair elections “the Voice” at 1.2 million rubles, said the co-Chairman of the Board of movement Grigory Melkonyants. “The voice” is engaged in the training of observers at the Federal and regional elections and organizes the process of observation.

According to Melkonyants, “Golos” was fined on three protocols of Roskomnadzor about the violation of the traffic law on NGOs — foreign agents. The motion, as follows from the case materials, in publications on its website did not put the label “foreign agent”.

The court in respect of “the Voice” was held on 11 April 2016, it was held without the participation of the representatives of the movement, emphasizes Melkonyants. “That we were fined, we knew on April 14, our lawyer went to court to find out what was wrong, and only the next day, 15 April, he was given to read the case papers”, — said one of the leaders of “Voice”.

In court the representative “Voice” explained that no one called to participate in the process, because the bailiff had not found the activists at the movement.

That “Voice” needs to be penalized, insisted the Ministry of justice, follows from the case against the motion that was read . Officials in early March sent to the office of Roskomnadzor for the Central Federal authority a letter in which actually acknowledge that the movement “Voice” carries out the activities of the Association observers “Voice”, and asked to draw the movement to administrative responsibility.

At the time of writing the Ministry of justice did not respond to a request for comment.

Association “the Voice” in 2014 was recognized as a foreign agent and included in the appropriate registry of the Ministry of justice. After that, in “the Voice” decided to actually stop work on behalf of the Association and to pursue its activities in election observation in the same movement. This format observers chose due to the fact that the movement in contrast to the Association not registered as a legal entity and therefore cannot be included in the registry of foreign agents. The Association “Voice” their work does not lead, remaining legal entity.

“The decision of Presnensky court is absurd, as the movement ‘Golos’ was fined for what is attributed to another organization and an independent legal entity. The movement “Voice” has long has to the Association, but the Ministry of justice, apparently, does not care”, — is perplexed Melkonyants.

Traffic fine “the Voice” became a record fine of NGOs for the lack of markings. Before a major penalty on such grounds was discharged the human rights center “memorial” — in September 2015, have fined on 600 thousand roubles Tver court of Moscow. In March 2016 for the same was fined 400 thousand rubles, the human rights organization “Public verdict”.

“It really is the most major fine for the lack of marking which he became known. But the scheme is similar: in its time, was fined for the materials, which were published on the website of another organization — the international historical-educational society “memorial”, — said the member of the Board of the human rights centre “memorial” Oleg Orlov. According to him, “the Voice” was fined in the beginning of the campaign before the elections to the state Duma in the autumn of 2016. “It’s such an element of intimidation,” — said Orlov.

The movement “the Voice” is planning to appeal the decision of the Presnensky court of Moscow.