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NGO Forced to Shut Following Court Ruling

Published: January 15, 2014 (Issue # 1793)



  • A 2013 anti-fascist vigil on Pionerskaya Ploshchad in memory of Stanislav Markelov and Anastasia Baburova.
    Photo: Sergey Chernov / SPT

The St. Petersburg-based Anti-Discrimination Center Memorial has closed its offices due to continued pressure from the authorities.

Most of its activities, however, are to be taken over by a new international organization, the NGOs former program director Stephania Kulayeva told The St. Petersburg Times on Monday. The new organization is to be called ADC Memorial but will be based outside of Russia.

On Dec. 12, Leninsky District court judge Anna Moroz declared the NGO a foreign agent, the first such ruling in Russia since legislation passed in 2012 requiring any organization which received foreign funding and engaged in political activity to register as a foreign agent. Large-scale inspections of NGOs to determine compliance with the law began in March 2013.

The NGOs report Roma People, Migrants, Activists Victims of Police Arbitrariness, which was prepared by the organization for the 49th session of the UN Committee Against Torture in 2012, was used as the chief item of evidence against the organization.

We have concluded all of our projects and let everyone go. ADC Memorial now exists as an empty organization in the process of being closed, Kulayeva said.

It still exists legally, but is no longer functional. Our website and our ongoing work will continue under the name of ADC Memorial, but as an international organization based outside of Russia.

We will continue to pursue ADC Memorials chief activities mainly the defence of vulnerable groups such as the Roma and migrants as well as other minorities. We had to withdraw from several projects where we needed to work closely with state institutions, such as schools and universities, but they also wont vanish, we simply wont be the ones conducting them.

According to Kulayeva, most of the groups analytical and human rights advocacy work will be conducted via its website.

Kulayeva said she would appeal the Dec. 12 ruling with the St. Petersburg City Court in the near future.

The bad news is that if the City Court agrees with the lower courts ruling, we will face criminal prosecution, she said.

That means we either have to fulfil the requirements of the ruling or hurry to close [the organization].

In a statement released on Dec. 31, 2013, ADC Memorial summed up the results of its activities for the nearly six years it had operated since opening in 2007.

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Friday, Oct. 31


Put your grammar and logical thinking to the test in a fun and friendly environment during the British Book Centers Board Game Evening starting at 5 p.m. today. The event is free and all are welcome to attend.



Saturday, Nov. 1


The men and women who dedicate their lives to fitness get their chance to compete for the title of best body in Russia at todays Grand Prix Fitness House PRO, the nations premier bodybuilding competition. Not only will men and women be competing for thousands of dollars in prizes and a trip to represent their nation at Mr. Olympia but sporting goods and nutritional supplements will also be available for sale. Learn more about the culture of the Indian subcontinent during Diwali, the annual festival of lights that will be celebrated in St. Petersburg this weekend at the Culture Palace on Tambovskaya Ul. For 100 rubles ($2.40), festival-goers listen to Indian music, try on traditional Indian outfits and sample dishes highlighting the culinary diversity of the billion-plus people in the South Asian superpower.



Sunday, Nov. 2


Check out the latest video and interactive games at the Gaming Festival at the Mayakovsky Library ending today. Meet with the developers of the popular and learn more about their work, or learn how to play one of their creations with the opportunity to ask the creators themselves about the exact rules.



Monday, Nov. 3


Non-athletes can get feed their need for competition without breaking a sweat at the Rock-Paper-Scissors tournament this evening at the Cube Bar at Lomonosova 1. Referees will judge the validity of each matchup award points to winners while the citys elite fight for the chance to be called the best of the best. Those hoping to play must arrange a team beforehand and pay 200 rubles ($4.80) to enter.



Tuesday, Nov. 4


Attend the premiere of Canadian director Xavier Dolans latest film Mommy at the Avrora theater this evening. The fifth picture from the 25-year-old, it is the story of an unruly teenager but the most alluring (or unappealing) aspect is the way the film was shot: in a 1:1 format that is more reminiscent of Instagram videos than cinematic art. Tickets cost 400 rubles ($9.60) and snacks and drinks will be available.



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