06MOSCOW11540, RUSSIAN-CHECHEN FRIENDSHIP SOCIETY ORDERED CLOSED

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MOSCOW11540 2006-10-13 14:47 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO8815
PP RUEHDBU
DE RUEHMO #1540 2861447
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 131447Z OCT 06
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3899
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L MOSCOW 011540 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/13/2016 
TAGS: PHUM PGOV PREL RS
SUBJECT: RUSSIAN-CHECHEN FRIENDSHIP SOCIETY ORDERED CLOSED 
 
Classified By: Charge Daniel A. Russell.  Reasons 1.4 (b and d). 
 
1.  (U) A Nizhniy Novgorod court on October 13 ordered the 
Russian-Chechen Friendship Society (RCFS) to be closed. 
According to press reports, the court found that the 
organization violated the NGO law.  Specifically, it ruled 
that RCFS had allowed its Executive Director Stanislav 
Dmitrievskiy to continue his affiliation with the 
organization after he was convicted of inciting racial hatred 
earlier this year.  Under the law, an NGO must sever ties 
with any official convicted of "extremist" activities, and 
prosecutors filed a suit against RCFS alleging that it had 
failed to remove him from the board, condemn his behavior, 
and notify the Federal Registration Service about his 
activities. Dmitrievskiy told reporters he would immediately 
appeal the ruling and continue separate appeals of his 
conviction, which stemmed from the 2004 publication of 
statements by Chechen separatist leaders in the NGO's 
newspaper.  Dmitrievskiy also said he would appeal to the 
European Court of Human Rights if necessary. 
 
2.  (C) Oksana Chelyusheva of RCFS told us that prosecutors 
had served the suit on October 9, with the hearing scheduled 
October 12.  The NGO had no time to adequately prepare its 
defense or to bring in other legal advisors and other 
supporters from outside Russia to bolster its case. 
Dmitrievskiy, who represented the RCFS in court, 
unsuccessfully sought a postponement.  Chelysheva wrote in an 
October 12 e-mail sent just after the hearing that the 
decision was predetermined based on the judge's conduct of 
the hearing. 
 
3.  (C) In a recent meeting, Dmitrievskiy and Chelyusheva 
acknowledged that Dmitrievskiy's continued work with the 
organization, which has only a small administrative staff in 
Nizhniy Novgorod and a few reporters in the North Caucasus, 
put it at risk.  They said they would make no attempt to 
conceal his involvement.  Dmitrievskiy said he was aware of 
the risk, but that he and Chelyusheva would continue out of 
principle.  Dmitrievskiy told us that his conviction had 
already led to a shortfall in funding, and he expected that 
there would be further legal action forthcoming. 
 
4.  (C) COMMENT:  RCFS' closure is the first of its kind 
under the new NGO law.  Dmitrievskiy and Chelyusheva knew 
that his participation in the organization left RCFS exposed 
but seemed to us resigned to the idea that RCFS would be 
closed whether Dmitrievskiy remained executive director or 
not.  We have little reason to expect that an appellate court 
will overturn the decision.  They remained aggressive critics 
of the conduct of the war in Chechnya, recently working on a 
proposal to conduct research into possible war crimes 
committed by Russian forces.  END COMMENT. 
RUSSELL

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