Russian EPDE Member GOLOS faces to be shut down – European Institutions alarmed on the crackdown on Russian Civil Society
The Association GOLOS and other leading Russian NGOs have been declared „foreign agents“ in the past few weeks and are facing now to be shut down. On May 15th in the European Parliament in Brussels a public discussion on the crackdown of the Russian civil society was held on invitation of Werner Schulz. MEP, Green Faction.
Seminar on Wednesday, 15th May 2013 at 2–4 p.m.
European Parliament ASP 5E1
Freedom House condemns the harsh sentence imposed today on political activist Konstantin Lebedev by a Russian court for allegedly organizing civil unrest during the May 6, 2012 protests in Moscow. Lebedev, a defendant in the Bolotnaya Square case, was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in a penal colony. He was arrested in October 2012 after a pro-government documentary alleged that he was paid by a Georgian parliamentarian to recruit, train, and coordinate activists for the May 6 events.
- Dommen mot organisasjonen Golos og dens leder Lilia Sjibanova i Moskva i dag gir grunn til bekymring. Det er første gang det felles dom etter endringene i loven om frivillige organisasjoner i Russland og dette kan bety vanskeligere arbeidsvilkår for organisasjonene, sier utenriksminister Espen Barth Eide.
Civic Election Observation in Russia at Risk
Unprecedented numbers of independent poll workers will help ensure clean elections in Moscow and St. Petersburg through 2018, a group of leading vote monitors said Tuesday, but the ruling United Russia party and local governments will continue to control polling stations elsewhere, a lingering risk of electoral fraud.
L’ONG russe Golos, qui lutte contre la fraude électorale, fait l’objet de poursuites administratives, nouvelle étape dans la vaste opération du Kremlin pour contrôler la société civile.
Putins wertlose Worte: Verfahren gegen russische NGO wegen unterlassener Selbstbezichtigung als Agenten eröffnet
PRESSEMITTEILUNG — Brüssel, 10. April 2013
Verfahren gegen die russische Wahlbeobachtungsorganisation GOLOS wegen unterlassener Registrierung als «ausländische Agenten» erklärt Werner Schulz, Vizevorsitzender des Parlamentarischen Kooperationsausschusses EU-Russland:
Russian Federation: First administrative case opened against election watchdog GOLOS in framework of 'foreign agents' law
On 9 April 2013, the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation opened a case of administrative violation against the GOLOS Association for the defence of the rights of voters (Golos means “Voice” or “Vote” in Russian) and its executive director Ms Lilya Shibanova. GOLOS is a Russian non-profit organisation which was founded in 2000 for the protection of voters’ rights and the development of civil society.
The elections were characterised by a lack of political competition, low-key campaigning and a relatively low presence of partisan election observers in precincts on election-day. This has to be explained with the decision of the three main opposition parties not to nominate their candidates for the Presidential elections and consequently not to deploy their proxies to the election precincts.
European Platform for Democratic Elections protests the detention of civil society activists in Khachmaz region of Azerbaijan
Baku, 13 February 2013: The European Platform for Democratic Elections (EPDE) condemns yesterday’s incident in Khamaz, Azerbaijan, where a training conducted by representatives of EPDE’s member organization Election Monitoring and Democracy Studies Center (EMDS) was disrupted by the local police.
Press release: Presentation of European Platform for Democratic Elections (EPDE) at the European Parliament in Brussels
Brussels, 31 January: “Civic observation is a powerful instrument for citizens’ control over electoral processes and deserves the attention and the support of the European institutions. We wish the best success for the newly established “European Platform for Democratic Elections” said Werner Schulz, Member of the European Parliament, during the presentation of the EPDE at the European Parliament on Wednesday January 30th.
PACE delegation welcomes the intention of the Armenian authorities to organize and election fully in line with international standards, says the statement issued on Thursday.
Armenia: PACE pre-electoral delegation told of efforts to organise democratic elections but concerned about a general lack of interest and trust in the process
The intention of the Armenian authorities to organise an election fully in line with international standards has been welcomed by a PACE delegation visiting the country to assess the pre-electoral climate ahead of the 18 February presidential election.
A presidential election in Russia isn’t scheduled for another five years, but the people who will run the polling stations and count the ballots are already being selected.
Warsaw — On 12th December 2012, twelve civil society organisations supporting or conducting citizens’ election observation in the states of the Eastern Partnership, the Russian Federation and the European Union have launched the “European Platform for Democratic Elections” (EPDE) in Warsaw.
Russian Golos and Lilya Shibanova received Andrei Sakharov Freedom Award 2012 at NHC 35th anniversary
Russian Association ‘Golos’ was presented the Sakharov Freedom Award at a ceremony which also marked Norwegian Helsinki Committee 35 years’ anniversary on 23 October. Lilya Shibanova accepted the award on behalf of the organisation she leads. — It is a great honor to receive the Sakharov Freedom award. The recognition comes at a very important and suitable time for us, were Russian democracy is dwindling and organisatons like ours are under fierce attack from the authorities. The anniversary was also celebrated by a well attented seminar opened by Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide.
Golos, Intrepid and Tech-Savvy Russian NDI Partner, Wins Sakharov Prize of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee
Golos, a long-time partner of NDI in Russia, was awarded the prestigious Sakharov Prize of the Norwegian Helsinki Commission today. The Commission especially lauded Golos for its innovative work during the recent Russian legislative and presidential elections. Golos, Russian for “The Voice”, is the only independent election monitoring organization in Russia. It has worked for over a decade on independent domestic election monitoring but became extremely popular during the recent Duma and then Presidential elections for its interactive map that allowed citizens to report violations during the election period and on election day. These elections were marked by the savvy use of Russians of social media and camera phones to record and report election violations on YouTube and on Golos’ map.
Oslo, 12 September 2012. — The Association Golos is awarded the Andrei Freedom Sakharov Award 2012 for its outstanding efforts to promote democratic values through free and fair elections in Russia, Norwegian Helsinki Committee Secretary General Bjørn Engesland says in a statement today.
On 23 October 2012 in Oslo, Norway the Helsinki Committee will present the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought to GOLOS Association for its work toward strengthening the political rights of Russian citizens. Executive Director Lilia Shibanova will represent GOLOS at the ceremony.
Od návratu Vladimira Putina do čela Kremlu neuplynulo ani sto dní. Už ale stihl zahájit demontáž liberálnějších zákonů, o něž se zasadil jeho předchůdce Dmitrij Medveděv.
President Putin signed off on a high-profile bill that will relegate politically active NGOs receiving funding from abroad to a registry of “foreign agents.” Once registered, these NGOs will face heightened scrutiny. They will be required to file regular disclosures with the government and to label all materials disseminated through major channels with their “foreign agent” status.
There are 120 days left until the amendments to a law come into force for nongovernmental organizations that receive foreign grants. Those who refuse to register as foreign agents could face stiff fines and up to three years in jail.
For more than a year, the Kremlin has been promising that there would be a “symmetric response” to the U.S. Magnitsky act. The problem, though, was that a strictly symmetric response would require freezing the Russian-based assets of U.S. government officials who are implicated in human rights abuses. Since few would qualify for this blacklist, the Kremlin resorted to an asymmetric response — a United Russia proposal to amend the law regulating nongovernmental organizations.
Former Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin has not excluded the possibility of establishing his own political party in the future. In his words, there is currently no political force in Russia. The new party could be based in the Committee for Civil Initiatives, which was established by Mr. Kudrin this past April. The organization has already involved itself in the analysis of recent electoral results.