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April 24, 2018

Russian Golos forced to temporarily freeze its cooperation with EPDE

On 13 March 2018, five days before the presidential election in Russia, EPDE and its Lithuanian member IESC were listed as "undesirable organisations" by the Russian Ministry of Justice. The listing limits, in the first instance, the rights of Russian citizen election observers and isolates them from international election observation and contacts with experts from other countries. The Russian state can impose a high fine, as well as even a prison term of up to six years on every Russian citizen who cooperates with the EPDE in order to promote democracy in Russia.

On 13 March 2018, five days before the presidential election in Russia, EPDE and its Lithuanian member IESC were listed as "undesirable organisations" by the Russian Ministry of Justice. The listing limits, in the first instance, the rights of Russian citizen election observers and isolates them from international election observation and contacts with experts from other countries. The Russian state can impose a high fine, as well as even a prison term of up to six years on every Russian citizen who cooperates with the EPDE in order to promote democracy in Russia. Therefore the movement Golos was forced to temporarily freeze its cooperation with EPDE. The decision of the General Prosecutor of the Russian Federation to list EPDE as "undesirable organization" further shrinks the opportunities for Golos’ activists who became target of a systematic political persecution. Already in 2013, the Association "Golos" was forced to suspend its activities due to the refusal of its members to recognize their association as a "foreign agent", subsequently the court decided to liquidate it. Lilia Shibanova, the former head of the Association "Golos", is since 2016 unable to leave the country, because her passport was damaged by the border officials at the Moscow airport. In a letter to the General Prosecutor of the Russian Federation, EPDE demands the explanation of the reasons for the inclusion into the list of "undesirable foreign organisations".

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