Prosecutors begin audit of Agora human rights group
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MOSCOW, March 27 - RAPSI, Maria Petrova. The prosecutors of the Vakhitovsky District of Kazan, capital of the republic of Tatarstan, have started investigating the workings of Agora interregional human rights association, Agora’s press service told RAPSI on Wednesday.
Agora has been asked to submit copies of its founding and operation documents, including the list of its employees and information about the size, composition and use of its property assets.
The prosecutors have also requested Agora’s operation reports for 2011-2012 and information about the funds it received from foreign sources in that period, if any.
The human rights association said that Agora head Pavel Chikov had been summoned to the prosecutor’s office for questioning about the association’s operation at 11 a.m. on April 2.
Yelena Gavrilenko, deputy prosecutor of the Vakhitovsky District, told RIA Novosti that it was a planned inspection, launched at the request of the Prosecutor General’s Office of Tatarstan. She said they would inspect the legality of the association’s operation.
Agora is a Russian NGO of human rights lawyers who take up high-profile cases concerning arbitrary decisions taken by the authorities across Russia. It was established by the Kazan and Chita human rights centers and the Chuvashia-based human rights organization Shield and Sword. Agora was registered on September 12, 2005.
Earlier this month, the St. Petersburg Prosecutor’s Office announced selective audits of some 5,000 St. Petersburg based NGOs. Similar checks are underway in other Russian cities.
Russian NGOs are being investigated to ensure their activities comply with their charters, the Justice Ministry said on March 25. If violations are detected, the ministry will take action, as prescribed by the law, the ministry said.