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Russian court rejects claim seeking the removal of anti-domestic violence group from ‘foreign agent’ list

Source: Meduza

Moscow’s Zamoskvoretsky Court has refused to satisfy an administrative claim filed against the Russian Justice Ministry by the anti-domestic violence group “Nasiliu.net” (No to Violence) over the decision to label the organization a “foreign agent.”

On Thursday, March 11, Pavel Chikov, the director of the human rights organization Agora, wrote on Telegram that the court had shot down Nasiliu.net’s claim that the Justice Ministry’s decision was illegal.

The lawsuit maintained that the ministry added Nasiliu.net to the state registry of “foreign agents” in December 2020 on the basis of an unscheduled audit of the organization’s office, which “grossly violated” the law “on protecting the rights of legal entities.” Moreover, according to Nasiliu.net, the Justice Ministry’s audit failed to establish what activities the center was carrying out “in the interests of foreign sources of funding.” The lawsuit also underscored that Nasiliu.net is not involved in “political activities” and that the Justice Ministry failed to prove otherwise.

The organization Nasiliu.net offers assistance and support to victims of domestic violence in Russia. In February, the Justice Ministry threatened to dissolve the advocacy group completely due to alleged violations contained within its charter. In early March, Nasiliu.net was notified that they had one month to vacate their rented office space in Moscow. 

Nasiliu.net director Anna Rivina appeared on the cover of TIME magazine’s “Women and the Pandemic” issue (March 2021). The accompanying article noted that Nasiliu.net faces “increasing hostility from the Kremlin and the Russian Orthodox Church.” 

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