Today, on 6 August 2015, INGO «The Committee Against Torture» was declared guilty in committing the administrative crime under part 2 of Article 19.34 of the Administrative Offences Code of the Russian Federation. A 300 000 roubles fine was imposed on the organization.
As we have previously reported, the report on administrative violation stated that on 26 June 2015 the Committee Against Torture organized a picket in Nizhny Novgorod in the framework of the International UN Day in Support of Torture Victims. This fact was confirmed by the materials of the regional Ministry of Justice, Counter-Extremism Center of the Chief Directorate of the Ministry of the Interior for the Nizhny Novgorod region, as well as by three applications of «vigilant citizens» of Nizhny Novgorod.
«In violation of part 1 of Article 24 of the Federal law dated 12.01.1996 No. 7-FZ «On non-commercial organizations» the informational leaflet of INGO «The Committee Against Torture» «Prosecutor, remember about the oath you have given» does not indicate that this material was published and (or) distributed by a non-commercial organization performing the functions of a foreign agent. In addition, posters and banners used during the public event on 26 June 2015 with slogans «Freedom from torture. Effective investigation. Fair trial», «While there is torture in Russia – we need the Committee Against Torture», «26 June – International day in support of torture victims», did not have indications that these materials were published and (or) distributed by a non-commercial organization performing the functions of a foreign agent, either», – the report on administrative violation stated.
Today the justice of peace of the judicial district No. 2 of Nizhny Novgorod passed a judgment, in which he declared INGO «The Committee Against Torture» guilty of committing administrative violation under part 2 of Article 19.34 of the Administrative Offences Code of the Russian Federation and imposed a 300 000 roubles fine on the organization.
Igor Kalyapin, who spoke in court as a liquidating agent of «The Committee Against Torture», emphasized: «Indeed, on 26 June the members of the Committee Against Torture conducted a picket dedicated to the International UN Day in Support of Torture Victims, and distributed leaflets with the text of a Prosecutor’s oath. We certainly knew that the Ministry of Justice of RF included our organization in the register of «foreign agents», however, we think that this decision is wrong. The Committee Against Torture has never been anyone’s agent, not in the sense of Article 52 of the Civil Code of RF, since it never performed anyone’s orders, nor in the meaning of the Law on non-commercial organizations, since it never performed any activity aimed at «changing the state policy». By conducting a picket on 26 June we assumed that we would be able to prove this obvious fact in court. Later, when we failed to do so, we made a decision on dissolution».
While mentioning the penalty that might be imposed on the Committee Against Torture, Kalyapin explained to the court: «Any decision on penalty will be meaningless, since the Committee Against Torture ceased its activity and has neither property nor funds that could be used for paying the penalty. Thus, any decision of the court on imposing the penalty would be consciously impracticable».