Sakharov Center challenges Russian Justice Ministry over NGO ruling
MOSCOW, February 4 (RAPSI) - The Sakharov Center filed a complaint against an inspection by the Russian Ministry of Justice that lead to the center being placed on a register of foreign agent NGOs, Interfax reports on Wednesday citing the center’s executive director, Sergei Lukashevsky.
He said that eventually the center will sue the ministry regarding its forced inclusion in the foreign agent NGO register.
The center’s representative in court, Yelena Pershakova, claims that during the unscheduled inspection, officers of the ministry’s main directorate did not produce any official documents explaining the reasons for the check.
Currently, the magistrate of the Tagansky District Court of Moscow is hearing an administrative case against the Sakharov Center based on a protocol of the inspection. The maximum penalty may reach 500,000 rubles ($7,470).
Last December, the Sakharov Center was forcefully included in the registry of NGOs and foreign agents. The Ministry of Justice claims that the move resulted from the inspection on December 12-24. The Sakharov Center management objected to the outcome of the inspection, the very fact that it was conducted and the resulting demands.
The Sakharov Center was established in 1996, to preserve the legacy of Andrei Sakharov - creator of thermonuclear weapons, stalwart human rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner.