Memorial NGO inspections declared lawful
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MOSCOW, May 24 (RAPSI) - The Zamoskvoretsky District Court in Moscow has upheld the legitimacy of an unscheduled inspection by the prosecutors of the Memorial Human Rights Center, the court told RAPSI on Friday.
The court thereby rejected Memorial's appeal against the inspection conducted by the Moscow Prosecutor's Office and the Justice Ministry on March 26, in which signs of the organization being a "foreign agent" were identified, Memorial's press office told RIA Novosti.
The inspectors discovered that the organization received around 100 million rubles ($3.2 million) in foreign funding in 2010-2011 for a project to shape public opinion in Russia, the prosecution representative said in court.
It was established that, apart from its educational and historical awareness goals, the organization was also politically active: it tried to influence public opinion and policymaking, the prosecutor added.
The highly controversial law on NGOs, which came into effect in November 2012, requires politically active NGOs with sources of foreign funding to register as "foreign agents." Once registered, these NGOs face heightened scrutiny.
Inspections of NGOs began in late March 2013 when the Justice Ministry said its goal is to check if their activities correspond with the objectives of their charters and the legislation.