07MOSCOW3991, RUSSIA: BUREAUCRATIC ERROR SNAGS HUMAN RIGHTS NGO

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07MOSCOW3991 2007-08-15 08:31 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO0661
PP RUEHDBU RUEHLN RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHMO #3991 2270831
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 150831Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2929
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUEHLN/AMCONSUL ST PETERSBURG 4391
RUEHVK/AMCONSUL VLADIVOSTOK 2343
RUEHYG/AMCONSUL YEKATERINBURG 2642

UNCLAS MOSCOW 003991 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PHUM RS
SUBJECT: RUSSIA: BUREAUCRATIC ERROR SNAGS HUMAN RIGHTS NGO 
 
REF: A. MOSCOW 695 (NOTAL) 
     B. MOSCOW 1839 (NOTAL) 
 
1. (SBU) Summary: The NGO "International Youth Human Rights 
Movement" (YHRM) learned last week that it had been 
deregistered by a Nizhny Novgorod court in June.  YHRM has 
appealed the deregistration which, according to Human Rights 
Watch, was apparently the result of compounded bureaucratic 
errors, rather than government targeting of this human rights 
NGO.  YHRM is able to continue operating pending an appeal. 
End Summary. 
 
------------------------- 
Deregistration and Appeal 
------------------------- 
 
2. (U) Prior to 2004, YHRM had been registered locally in 
Nizhny Novgorod, according to its president Andrey Yurov. 
Starting in 2004, YHRM registered as an international NGO 
with the central Federal Registration Service (FRS) as 
required by law of all international NGOs.  At this time, 
even though YHRM was now based in Voronezh and registered in 
Moscow, it was not removed from the Nizhny Novgorod list. 
According to Yurov, the YHRM currently files all required 
annual reports with the central FRS. 
 
3. (U) During the spring of 2007, the Nizhny Novgorod branch 
of the Federal Registration Service (FRS), following a 
request from FRS headquarters to remove defunct NGOs from the 
registration rolls, sent letters to all NGOs on the local 
list who had not filed reports within the prior 12 months. 
The letters notified the NGOs that their registration would 
be revoked and their organizations dissolved unless they kept 
their NGO active by filing the required annual reports.  The 
Nizhny Novgorod FRS had an incorrect address for YHRM, and 
therefore the warning letter was not received.  The Nizhny 
Novgorod court in June noted in its decision that YHRM had 
not responded to the FRS letter and had failed to respond to 
the court hearing notice (also sent to the same incorrect 
address) and declared the group dissolved. 
 
4. (U) On August 9, YHRM filed an appeal with this district 
court on the grounds that neither the FRS nor the court had 
properly notified them of the pending actions, as required by 
law.  YHRM attorney Olga Gnezdilova told us that, following a 
successful appeal, YHRM will then contest the original FRS 
allegations with evidence that YHRM has filed annual reports 
with the Moscow FRS for the last four years.  YHRM has 
requested that the district court rule on the appeal within 
10 days (a limit also specified in the law).  Complete text 
of the district court decision and the YHRM appeal may be 
found at www.defence.yhrm.org. If the district court denies 
the appeal, Yurov said that he plans to appeal to the oblast 
court, supreme court, and European Court of Human Rights as 
needed.  In the meantime, the deregistration decision has not 
taken effect, and YHRM is able to operate freely. 
 
--------------------- 
A Mistake, not Malice 
--------------------- 
 
5. (SBU) Inara Golpe-Langenushka of Human Rights Watch told 
us that they had been following the case closely, but were 
convinced that this was a bureaucratic error, not an attack 
on human rights groups.  The Nizhny Novgorod branch of the 
FRS had tried to comply with the requirements to remove 
defunct NGOs from the registry and simply had the wrong 
address. 
 
6. (SBU) Poloff met with Gnezdilova and YHRM President Andrey 
Yurov during a August 6-8 trip to Voronezh.  Gnezdilova and 
Yurov complained about the red tape that NGOs face trying to 
comply with the 2006 NGO law (Refs A and B).  "Even small 
NGOs require one or two staff members just to comply with the 
federal regulations," said Yurov. 
 
7. (SBU) Comment: The fact that YHRM is being allowed to 
continue to operate pending an appeal suggests that this 
indeed does appear to be a case of bureaucratic error. 
Nonetheless, this case merits close attention, and we will 
track the progress of Yarov's appeal and subsequent actions 
by the Nizhny Novgorod FRS. 
RUSSELL

Wikileaks

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