06MOSCOW3190, CIVIL SOCIETY COUNCIL CHAIR PAMFILOVA DISCUSSES

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MOSCOW3190 2006-03-29 13:59 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO5761
PP RUEHDBU
DE RUEHMO #3190/01 0881359
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 291359Z MAR 06
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3125
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MOSCOW 003190 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/24/2016 
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PINR PREL EAID RS
SUBJECT: CIVIL SOCIETY COUNCIL CHAIR PAMFILOVA DISCUSSES 
NGO LEGISLATION AND G8 SUMMIT PLANS 
 
REF: MOSCOW 002502 
 
Classified By: Amb. William J. Burns.  For Reasons 1.4 (b/d). 
 
1. (C) SUMMARY.  In a March 24 meeting with the Ambassador 
and visiting Coordinator for U.S. Assistance to Europe and 
Eurasia Thomas Adams, Ella Pamfilova, head of the 
Presidential body that oversees civil society issues, said 
her office would help monitor the controversial NGO 
legislation when it came into effect on April 18.  She noted 
that her office was familiar with the implementing 
regulations and wanted to comment on them publicly, but the 
bureaucracy wanted to work in secrecy.  Pamfilova promised to 
do her best to protect NGOs and individuals that were 
implicated in the recent British "spy" scandal.  Pamfilova 
also discussed her plans for NGO events around the G8 Summit 
and the problems that the Russian-Belarusian Human Rights 
Commission faced in Belarus.  She also will look into 
complaints about the treatment of Mikhail Trepashkin in 
prison.  END SUMMARY. 
. 
NGO LEGISLATION 
--------------- 
 
2. (C) In a March 24 meeting with the Ambassador and 
Coordinator for U.S. Assistance to Europe and Eurasia Thomas 
Adams, Ella Pamfilova, Chair of the Presidential Council for 
Assistance to Development of Institutions of Civil Society 
and Human Rights, noted that the controversial NGO 
legislation would take effect on April 18.  The main problem 
would not be with the law itself, but with how it was 
implemented.  She hoped that the implementing regulations 
would decrease the vagueness of the law.  Her office and some 
NGOs were familiar with the implementing regulations and 
wanted to comment on them publicly, whereas many bureaucrats 
wanted to work behind closed doors.  She has an agreement 
with various international NGOs, such as Amnesty 
International, Human Rights Watch, and the Carnegie 
Foundation, which will monitor implementation once the law 
comes into effect and report any problems to her office.  She 
saw her role as being a critic to address any problems with 
the law.  In contrast, Pamfilova argued, the Kremlin wanted 
to produce propaganda indicating that everything was fine 
with the legislation.  After all the international attention 
paid to the legislation, it would be a matter of honor for 
the Kremlin to prove its critics wrong. 
 
3. (C) Adams said many major donors at a recent forum in New 
York were glad that some of the suggested changes to the 
first draft of the legislation had been made.  However, one 
of the organizations in attendance at the forum, the New 
Eurasia Foundation, had been accused of having links to 
British intelligence.  Pamfilova replied that NGO leaders who 
were implicated in the "spy" scandal such as Andrey Kortunov 
of the New Eurasia Foundation, Lyudmila Alekseyeva of the 
Moscow Helsinki Group, and Yuriy Dzhibladze of the Center for 
the Development of Democracy and Human Rights were part of 
her core group for organizing a recent G8 NGO forum (reftel). 
 The scandal had not affected them too negatively, and they 
were still criticizing the government.  She would do her best 
to make sure that such people would be around to criticize 
the government in the future.  Pamfilova believed that the 
situation six months from now would be different, and the 
fallout from the "spy" scandal would dissipate. 
. 
NGO INVOLVEMENT IN THE G8 
------------------------- 
 
4. (C) Pamfilova said the March G8 NGO forum had generated a 
great deal of interest among foreign and domestic NGOs that 
wanted to participate in future events.  Pamfilova stressed 
that she did not want the NGO events to be dominated by 
Russian organizations, and she was looking for more foreign 
groups to participate.  She had recently met with Rose 
Gottemoeller of the Moscow Carnegie Center to discuss 
conducting an event on nuclear security with Carnegie. 
Pamfilova said she was considering doing more NGO events, 
including a conference on social integration in Kazan from 
late May to early June and a roundtable on energy security in 
April in Khanty-Mansiy.  She was also trying to schedule 
another meeting with the sherpas in May with a group of 10-20 
experts from the NGO community.  The next general NGO forum 
would take place on July 13-14.  A major focus of the July 
forum would be internal problems of civil society in Russia, 
such as human rights and the NGO legislation, as well as 
issues of civil society and human rights around the world. 
She also wanted to engage anti-globalists so that there would 
be a serious dialogue about their concerns, instead of 
violent protests.  The Ambassador offered to provide 
Pamfilova assistance with those NGO events. 
 
MOSCOW 00003190  002 OF 002 
 
 
. 
BELARUS 
------- 
 
5. (C) Pamfilova said that the Russian-Belarusian Human 
Rights Commission, of which she is a member, had experienced 
problems working in Belarus.  Several of its members, 
incl
uding a journalist and Council on Foreign Affairs and 
Defense Policy Director Sergey Karaganov, had been banned 
from entering Belarus.  Pamfilova reported that Lukashenko 
had personally complained to Putin about her.  She noted that 
the Commission regularly met with Belarusian activists and 
put out a report every few months, but there was not much 
more they could do.  In a separate March 24 meeting with 
PolMinCouns, Karaganov professed a higher level of 
satisfaction with the activities of the Russian-Belarusian 
Human Rights Commission, saying that he believed it was 
having a positive effect in a number of areas. 
. 
TREPASHKIN AND HUMAN RIGHTS 
--------------------------- 
 
6. (C) The Ambassador raised with Pamfilova concern about the 
treatment of Mikhail Trepashkin in prison.  Trepashkin was 
convicted of disclosing state secrets in connection with his 
investigation of possible FSB involvement in a series of 1999 
apartment bombings in Moscow.  Human rights leaders have 
written a letter to G7 ambassadors about his treatment. 
Pamfilova replied that the British Embassy had also raised 
the issue with her on March 23, but the authors of the letter 
had not mentioned the problem to her directly.  She said she 
would speak with members of her Council and with Human Rights 
Ombudsman Vladimir Lukin to see what had been done about the 
case.  Trepashkin's case received a great deal of attention, 
but prison conditions were poor for many prisoners who were 
not as well known.  Looking at human rights more broadly, 
Pamfilova noted that the GOR was considering eliminating jury 
trials, but she gave no indication that she expected early 
GOR action on that issue. 
 
7. (U) Coordinator for U.S. Assistance to Europe and Eurasia 
Thomas Adams has cleared this message. 
BURNS

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