Statement on the situation, concerning regional public organization «Man and Law» of Mari El Republic


ЧиЗ-1-вариант32-300x1981-300x198On December 30, 2014 without a participation of the regional public organization «Man and Law» of the Republic of Mari El, the Magistrates court of the judicial department № 10 of Yoshkar-Ola judicial district of the Republic of Mari El considered a protocol on administrative offence, drawn up by the Directorate of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation for the Republic of Mari El, and gave a decision, in which recognized the organization guilty of the administrative offense under part 1, article 19.34 of the Administrative Offences Code of the Russian Federation and sentenced the organization to an administrative fine in the amount of 300 000 rubles.

 

The chronology of events of the last three months of 2014 year:

October, 2014. The Directorate of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation for the Republic of Mari El sent requests to public authorities (Federal Financial Monitoring Service, FSB, FSO, the Administration of Yoshkar-Ola, as well as the Public Chamber of the Republic of Mari El) to provide information on the activities of the regional public organization «Man and Law» of Mari El Republic.

October-November, 2014. The Directorate of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation for the Republic of Mari El received answers to previous requests about the organization’s activities in the region.

On October 6, 2014 the Directorate of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation for the Republic of Mari El sent to the regional public organization «Man and Law» of Mari El Republic a notice on the inspection of the organization from  November 24, 2014 to December 12, 2014.

On November 24, 2014, on the day of the 15th anniversary of the organization, staff members of the Regional Directorate of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation began conducting an inspection in the regional public organization «Man and Law» of Mari El Republic. The inspection was conducted in the office of the organization. Staff members of the Ministry of Justice examined financial documents, statutory activities, which had been carried out through the implementation of projects, financed by Russian and Western donors.

In a personal conversation officers of the Ministry of Justice denied the intention to include the organization in the registry of non-profit organizations, acting as a foreign agent. At the same time they demanded the submission of the detailed presentation, explanation of the essence of implementation of all activities. Further it became a basis of evidence of a commitment of the administrative offense.

On December 12, 2014 (Friday, 16:45) the inspection was ended, and officers of the Ministry of Justice gave the act on results of the inspection.

On December 15, 2014 the Directorate of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation for the Republic of Mari El gave a protocol on the administrative offense under part 1, article 19.34 of the Administrative Offences Code of the Russian Federation (carrying out activities by a non-profit organization, acting as a foreign agent and not included in the Registry of Non-Profit Organizations, performing the functions of foreign agents).

On December 19, 2014 the Magistrates court of the judicial department № 10 of Yoshkar-Ola judicial district of the Republic of Mari El notified the regional public organization «Man and Law» of Mari El Republic about an appointment of the trial on the review of the protocol on the administrative offense under part 1, article 19.34 of the Administrative Offences Code of the Russian Federation.

On December 21, 2014 leaders of the regional public organization «Man and Law» of Mari El Republic went to Arkhangelsk and Kaliningrad on a business trip, which had been scheduled a few months before the described events. Organization leaders’ return was planned for the evening of December 30, 2014 after carrying out all their activities in Kaliningrad.

On December 23, 2014 employees of the regional public organization «Man and Law» of Mari El Republic notified the Magistrates court of the judicial department № 10 of Yoshkar-Ola judicial district of the Republic of Mari El that none of the leaders of the organization would be able to attend the court trial on the administrative offense and asked to postpone the trial to another date in order to guarantee legal protection.

On December 30, 2014 without a participation of the regional public organization «Man and Law» of the Republic of Mari El, the Magistrates court of the judicial department № 10 of Yoshkar-Ola judicial district of the Republic of Mari El considered a protocol on administrative offence, drawn up by the Directorate of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation for the Republic of Mari El, and gave a decision, in which recognized the organization guilty of the administrative offense under part 1, article 19.34 of the Administrative Offences Code of the Russian Federation and sentenced the organization to an administrative fine in the amount of 300 000 rubles. The basis of the decision was only arguments of the Directorate of the Ministry of Justice.

On December 30, 2014 in the evening staff members the Ministry of Justice of Russia posted information on their website that in accordance with the Federal Law «On non-profit organizations» the Ministry of Justice of Russia included regional public organization «Man and Law» of the Republic of Mari El in the registry of non-profit organizations, acting as a foreign agent.

On the same day, December 30, 2014 at 21:30 local Internet websites posted information that regional public organization «Man and Law» of the Republic of Mari El had been recognized by the court as a foreign agent. Employees of the organization and the Ministry of Justice received the official decision only on December 31, 2014. Thus, it was not clear from what sources this information had been distributed in the Internet.

On January 12, 2015 regional public organization «Man and Law» of Mari El Republic received a call from officers of the Inspectorate of the Federal Tax Service of Russia for Yoshkar-Ola, who notified that the Tax Service had received information from the Directorate of the Ministry of Justice for the Republic of Mari El, according to which the organization should pay taxes from the special-purpose financing of the project in 2013 year, according to the opinion of the Ministry of Justice.

On January 13, 2015 regional public organization «Man and Law» of Mari El Republic received a fax notification that a taxpayer (regional public organization «Man and Law» of Mari El Republic) was requested to come to the Tax Service Office on January 15, 2015 at 10 am for giving explanations on the tax declaration for 2013 year.

The official position of the regional public organization «Man and Law» of Mari El Republic on its registration as a non-profit organization, performing functions of a foreign agent

Regional public organization «Man and Law» of the Republic of Mari El has been working on the territory of the Republic since 1999 year. For 15 years the organization has been never active in politics.

The organization’s activity complies with the statutory objectives, as evidenced by the results of inspections by the Directorate of the Ministry of Justice for the Republic of Mari El. It is expressed only in the protection of human rights and freedoms, guaranteed by the Constitution of the Russian Federation, as well as international agreements, ratified by the Russian Federation, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Convention for the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

The Russian Federation is a member of the United Nations and the Council of Europe. International agreements of the United Nations and the Council of Europe are applicable on the territory of Russia and in accordance with p. 4 of Article 15 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation they are an integral part of the national law from the date of ratification.

NGO «Man and Law» of Mari El Republic believes that the findings of the Directorate of the Ministry of Justice for Mari El Republic, that its activity contains political components, is contrary to the fundamental principles of the Constitution.

Actions of the Directorate of the Ministry of Justice of Russia for Mari El Republic are illegal. The Directorate of the Ministry of Justice of Russia for Mari El Republic reads the rule of law arbitrary, which is contrary to the principles of the law-governed sate, which is the Russian Federation.

The office of NGO «Man and Law» of Mari El Republic is currently working, and within two last days 10 people applied for legal aid to the organization.

At the moment we realize that we are one of the few human rights organizations, really operating on the territory of the Republic. We have no moral right to close the organization and refuse to help people. We intend to continue our work.

On January 12, 2014 we filed a complaint against the decision of the Magistrates court of the judicial department № 10 of Yoshkar-Ola judicial district of the Republic of Mari El. The fact of the inclusion in the registry will be appealed, and the organization has already made a request to the Ministry of Justice of Russia to send a copy of the decision on inclusion in the registry.

Under the national law when the court’s decision enters into force, the organization will be obliged to pay a fine of 300 000 rubles within a month, otherwise it will have to pay a double fine in the amount of 600 000 rubles or the head of the organization faces administrative arrest for up to 15 days.

Funds that were allocated to the organization by donors are special-purpose funds, so they cannot be spent to any other purposes, as in future it may be considered by the Directorate of the Ministry of Justice as the improper use of funds, and further it can lead to the prosecution.

In connection with the current situation, staff members of the organization begin to collect funds for the payment of the fine. Everyone, who believes that the organization’s work is important, can provide the organization with possible financial assistance. Even a small contribution will show how many people have a positive attitude to the organization and contribute to the protection of human rights.

At the moment, we are going to achieve a reversal of the court’s decision together with our partner association «AGORA», which provides us with legal support and assistance. In case of the abolishment of the fine, all funds will be returned to donors or, at the donor’s wish, can be transferred to a particular statutory activity of the organization.

In addition, we begin a full coverage of all processes, related to the legal actions of the organization “Man and the Law”. All materials of the administrative proceedings, concerning the organization can be found here:

https://drive.google.com/a/manandlaw.info/folderview?id=0B4LgZOuCFOTJVHU0M2QzVUhsZHc&usp=sharing

Funds can be donated in the following way:

Regional public organization «Man and Law» of Mari El Republic

Bank: Branch № 8614 Sberbank of Russia, Yoshkar-Ola

Taxpayer Identification Number (INN) 1215063179

Tax registration reason code (KPP) 121501001

Current account 40703810437180100822

Correspondent account 30101810300000000630

BIC 048860630

PayPal — manandlaw15@yandex.ru

Moneybookers — manandlaw15@yandex.ru (EUR)

WebMoney — R695567237526 (RUB), Z412703127103 (USD), E315728370159 (EUR)

Yandex money— 410012778506093

The material is distributed by a non-profit organization, included in the registry of non-profit organizations by the decision of the Ministry of Justice of Russia of  30.12.2014, according to p.6,  Art. 2 of the Federal Law of 12.01.1996 № 7-FZ «On Nonprofit Organizations» (taking into account previously made changes, as well as the edition of 02.07.2013)

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