Member of the HRC encourages the Council to discuss amendments of the Ministry of justice about the political activities of NGOs

Member of the HRC encourages the Council to discuss amendments of the Ministry of justice about the political activities of NGOs

MOSCOW, January 22. Member of the Council under RF President on development of civil society and human rights (HRC) Elena Topoleva-Soldunova calls on the HRC to discuss the proposed Ministry of justice amendments, which clarify the definition of political activities and determine criteria for its implementation NGOs.

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“These amendments were developed at the initiative of the HRC, therefore, I propose that the Council urgently to convene, hold a meeting and to prepare an expert opinion,” said Topoleva-Soldunova.

“I propose to conduct an experiment: to “lay” the amendments to the decisions on the inclusion of NGOs in register of “foreign agents”. If these decisions will have to cancel, the bill will work, and if they still remain in force, it will not work,” says the social worker.

Topoleva-Soldunova said that “considers the advantages of the bill (Ministry of justice)” that for the recognition of political activity “must match the objectives, scope of work and forms of work”. “If, for example, an organization holds an event in the sphere of charity, it is not the policy, because, despite the form – “public event”, a charity project precluded by law from political activities,” said Topoleva-Soldunova.

However, the social worker considers it appropriate to exclude from the draft law the work of NGOs “in the field of socio – economic development”. “What is meant? This is a concern,” said she.

On Friday, the justice Ministry submitted a bill according to which NGOs are recognized to engage in political activities in Russia if it carries out “activities in the field of government and foundations of the constitutional system of the Russian Federation, the Federal structure of the Russian Federation of sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Russian Federation, ensuring of legality, law and order, state and public security, national defense, foreign policy, socio-economic and national development of the Russian Federation, the functioning of the political system, of state authorities and local self-government, legislative regulation of the rights and freedoms of man and citizen”, if it is conducted “in order to influence the formulation and implementation of state policy on the formation of state bodies, bodies of local self-government, their decisions and actions”.

Prescribe forms in which such activities are carried out. These include, in particular, participation in organizing and holding public events, participating “in activities aimed at obtaining a certain result at elections, referendum, elections, referenda, in the formation of election commissions, referendum commissions” and “political parties” and several others.

Separately specified, that does not apply to political activities in the field of science, culture, art, health, charity, etc. under certain conditions.