Non-profit organization warned for violating NGO foreign agent law
MOSCOW, December 13 - RAPSI. The Justice Ministry has issued a warning to the branch of the No to Alcoholism and Drug Addiction Foundation in Russian city Saratov for violating the law on foreign agents, Kommersant daily reported on Thursday.
The non-profit organization risks closure because it failed to report on its receipt of funds from foreign organizations in 2011.
"The organization did not provide any information on the volume of funds received from foreign sources in 2011," reads the Justice Ministry's warning, which was sent to the foundation on November 28, 2012.
According to this letter, this was the second warning issued to the foundation. The first was sent on June 29 but to no avail.
If the warning is not appealed, the Justice Ministry will take the charity organization to court and its Saratov branch may be closed.
"This case in Saratov is basically the first case initiated with regard to the law on foreign agents, and it may set the tone for further law enforcement proceedings," lawyer Ramil Akhmetgaliyev, who represents the foundation's interests, told Kommersant.
The ministry was not able to give the daily any comments.
A new law obligating Russian non-profit organizations financed from abroad and involved in political activity to be registered as foreign agents entered into effect on November 20.
The law was adopted by the State Duma in its spring session.
Pursuant to the law, the agents will be obliged to be entered into a special registry. Different legal regulations will apply to them, which will not apply to ordinary non-profit organizations.
These regulations will stipulate a specific level of accountability and checks.