06MOSCOW312, TWO FOREIGN AID NGOS REPORTEDLY BANNED IN

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MOSCOW312 2006-01-17 15:03 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO3415
RR RUEHDBU
DE RUEHMO #0312 0171503
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 171503Z JAN 06
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9188
INFO RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE

C O N F I D E N T I A L MOSCOW 000312 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/17/2016 
TAGS: PREF PHUM PGOV PREL EAID RU
SUBJECT: TWO FOREIGN AID NGOS REPORTEDLY BANNED IN 
INGUSHETIYA 
 
 
Classified By: POLITICAL MINISTER-COUNSELOR KIRK AUGUSTINE. 
REASONS 1.4 (B AND D). 
 
1.  (C) SUMMARY:  Russian press reported January 16 that an 
Ingush court had banned two international NGOs working in the 
North Caucasus and was also considering banning a USG-funded 
American NGO.  The basis of the court's ruling is unclear, 
and it appears none of the three NGOs was aware that a ban 
was under consideration.  Our contacts said the ruling was a 
surprise, as relations between the international humanitarian 
aid community and Ingush Government were improving after some 
rancor during the past several weeks.  It is not clear who or 
what precipated this decision, or whether it portends future 
action against other NGOs in the North Caucasus.  END SUMMARY. 
 
2.  (C) Russian press reported January 16 that the court had 
banned the British NGO Center for Peacemaking and Community 
Development (CPCD) and the German NGO HELP from further work 
in Ingushetiya.  The court ruled that neither HELP nor CPCD 
had permission to work in the republic, although it was 
unclear what sort of permission the court meant.  CPCD, a 
small NGO focusing on children, had been told several weeks 
ago that it would not be re-registered and had essentially 
stopped all of its programs in the North Caucasus.  CPCD had 
problems previously and may have been seen by authorities as 
pro-separatist.  Its founder, Chris Hunter, was denied a visa 
by the Russians in 2001 for criticizing the GOR's conduct in 
Chechnya.  One NGO contact told us that a CPCD staff member 
had told him that CPCD maintained links to Kavkaz Center and 
other separatist websites on its headquarters' homepage, and 
the father of one of its expatriate staff had ties to Chechen 
"Deputy Premier" Akhmed Zakayev.  Although CPCD had not had 
its registration renewed, it was trying to find other ways to 
maintain its presence in the North Caucasus. 
 
3.  (SBU) While CPCD lost its registration, HELP is 
accredited in Russia and registered in Ingushetiya.  It 
recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ingush 
Government on its activities and apparently had no indication 
that action against it was pending.  Despite the ruling, HELP 
was continuing its normal operations. 
 
4.  (SBU) Like HELP, IMC is accredited and registered in 
Ingushetiya and has enjoyed good relations with Ingush 
officials.  It too has signed a Memorandum of Understanding 
with the government.  IMC staff learned it might be banned 
from reporters seeking comment on the ruling.  Press reports 
gave no indication when and if the court would decide whether 
to ban it, and IMC is continuing its normal work. 
 
5.  (C) The sudden announcement of the court's actions, 
posted first on the Ingush Procurator's website, came as UN 
and NGO contacts told us repeatedly over the past week that 
earlier complaints about and disputes with the Ingush 
Government had quieted down.  Those complaints were directed 
at Ingush Deputy Prime Minister Osman Uzhakhov, the 
government's liaison to the humanitarian community.  Uzhakhov 
had critized and berated NGO, UN and ICRC representatives, 
threatenting to shut down any organization that did not 
undertake programs that corresponded to the Ingush 
Government's priorities or sign Memorandums of Understanding 
with the government.  During the past month, his tenor had 
changed and he had become more conciliatory, possibly because 
of indications he would be dismissed, according to our 
contacts. 
 
6.  (C) COMMENT:  No one is sure who or what precipitated the 
surprise decision to ban these NGOs or whether it suggests 
future action against other NGOs.  Relations between the 
international aid community and the GOR and local officials 
have never been good but have generally improved over the 
past year; however, rumors of NGO shutdowns are constant. 
The ban does not appear to be directly related to the recent 
passage of the NGO law.  Our experience has shown that 
harassment of foreign NGOs in the North Caucasus is cyclical. 
 Typically, one or two NGOs are singled out for 
administrative or legal action that is intended as a message 
to the others that their ability to work depends on 
cooperation with the authorities.  Usually, the situation is 
resolved after intervention by donor governments and UN 
officials, and things quiet down until the cycle repeats 
itself.  We will continue to follow this situation closely. 
BURNS

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