MOSCOW, May 8 (RAPSI) - The Golos Association's defense has filed an appeal against a fine levied on the organization and its leader, lawyer Ramil Akhmetgaliyev told RAPSI on Wednesday.
The lawyer has asked the Presnensky District Court to annul the two decisions passed by Magistrate Judge Yelena Semenchonok and close the cases against Golos and CEO of the association Liliya Shibanova, as there is no evidence of administrative violations.
Golos lawyers believe that the fines imposed by Semenchonok are unlawful and unjustified. The judge said Golos received foreign financing from the Norwegian Helsinki Committee - the Andrei Sakharov Freedom Award worth 308,000 rubles ($9,900), which is not true.
The organization never received funds from the Helsinki Committee, Akhmetgaliyev wrote in his appeal.
On April 25, the Golos Association was fined 300,000 rubles ($9,500) for violating the so-called foreign agent law. Shibanova was fined 100,000 rubles ($3,200) as well.
The Golos Association of Non-Profit Organizations was founded in 2000 to protect the rights of Russian voters and to promote civil society development, the association's website reads.
It was the first NGO to face a penalty based on the new federal law requiring any organization involved in political activities in Russia and financed abroad to file for 'foreign agent' status.
Under a controversial law approved by President Vladimir Putin last year, NGOs funded from abroad and engaged in political activities are required to register as 'foreign agents,' or face fines of up to 500,000 rubles ($16,000) for NGOs and up to 300,000 rubles ($10,000) for NGO directors.