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Igor Kalyapin on the designation of Committee for Prevention of Torture as a 'foreign agent'

posted 29 Jan 2016, 12:29 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 29 Jan 2016, 15:43 ]
15 January 2016

Source: Committee for the Prevention of Torture [original source: Facebook page of Igor Kalyapin]

Below is the announcement made by the chair of the Committee for the Prevention of Torture, Igor Kalyapin, on the inclusion of the non-profit in the register of organizations that carrying the functions of a foreign agent:

“The Ministry of Justice has announced that the Committee for the Prevention of Torture is a foreign agent organization. Despite the fact that the organization has never received money from foreign sources, the Ministry of Justice considers the organization has foreign funding because Russian citizens who have made donations to the Committee have worked for a Russian organization that has received foreign funding. How turns out that we should have checked where the citizens that have donated to us work, as well as verifying where the individuals’ employers get their money from.

Last year, the Committee was designated a foreign agent because it turns out that the authorities regard any public activities, any interview, as ‘political activity’. Now, our newly founded Committee is regarded as an agent because it appears that any money in Russia can be found to be from a ‘foreign source’ at some point down the line, if one truly wants it to be.

Well, I believe that our experiment in cooperating with the state on the principles of openness and transparency can be considered to have been completed. Conclusions will be drawn and measures taken. I can assure you that this investigation will be concluded quickly, accurately and adequately. With what tactics and in what organization and legal form we will continue our work, at this moment I cannot say, but I can guarantee two things:

  • I can guarantee that we will never recognize ourselves as ‘foreign agents’ in our own country. 
  • I can guarantee that we will not stop our work in all the areas where we are now working. All the current cases headed by the lawyers of the Committee for the Prevention of Torture in courts and investigative agencies in Russia will continue. Citizens can continue to turn to us for legal and medical assistance. Once again, I can assure you all: we are not going anywhere!” 

Translated by Sasha Shapiro