Igor Kalyapin announced the upcoming dissolution of "The Committee Against Torture" and informed on subsequent work of human rights defenders


28 July 2015

During today’s press-conference Chairman of INGO “The Committee Against Torture” Igor Kalyapin announced that the organization will be dissolved by the end of the week and the appropriate documents will be sent to the Ministry of Justice. Kalyapin also informed that starting from 3 August INGO “The Committee on Prevention of Torture” will start its work.    

(Photo: Interfax information agency)

«The only reason we made a decision to dissolve our organization is the legal norm obliging us to lie in public by stating that our organization is «performing the function of a foreign agent». In accordance with the Constitution Russian laws are written in Russian. In the Russian language the phrase «the function of an agent» means performing orders and requests of a certain master-mind. The notions «agent», «agent’s contract» contained in Chapter 52 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation have exactly the same meaning. Therefore, every now and then we are forced to publicly announce that we are not acting on own accord but performing the will, order, request of a certain foreign master (principal). This is not true, I declare this with full responsibility as the head of the Committee during all 15 years of its existence», – emphasized Igor Kalyapin, directing the audience’s attention to the fact that the Russian law does not contain the norm for self-representation, but the state forces the organization to announce itself a «foreign agent», without even trying to prove it.

Kalyapin also dispersed a myth that the Russian law «On foreign agents» is identical to the American law  FARA. «These laws don’t have anything in common between them apart from the word combination», – the press-conference speaker stated.

Another myth dispersed by the speaker related to reassurances of the authors of the law that it does not in any way discredit non-commercial organizations labeled like that. Having read the extract from the Constitutional Court ruling stating that «legislative construction of a non-commercial organization performing the function of a foreign agent does not provide for negative assessment of such organization by the state, is not aimed at forming a negative attitude  to the political activity which it performs and therefore, cannot be perceived as a manifestation of non-confidence or intention to discredit such non-commercial organization and (or) objectives of its activity», Kalyapin gave an example of the comment of the RF State Duma deputy Yevgeny Fedorov, which vividly demonstrates the opposite situation.    
RF State Duma deputy Yevgeny Fedorov on the Ministry of Justice’s including of  the Committee Against Torture, performing the function of a foreign agent: «I congratulate you, because  NOD (national liberation movement) from Nizhny Novgorod was trying hard that the truth would come out and enemies and  scoundrels would be called by their proper names. I congratulate you on a victory… This is purely a matter of information. From now on all their documents shall include statement that they are foreign (i.e., American) agents, and, accordingly, are performing their activity not in their own way, but are fulfilling their orders and are receiving money for that.  And citizens who interact with them will be aware of that. In fact, one must understand the role of nongovernmental organizations who are foreign agents (since not all of the nongovernmental organizations are foreign agents)  – these are headquarters of the US occupation army  on the territory of Russia. Their objective is to conduct analytical work on the territory of Russia – (there is a huge army of these headquarters), we estimate their budget will reach around 30 billion dollars  this year… We should not only acknowledge that NGOs – foreign states’ headquarters – act on our territory, but also acknowledge that they are enemies that are subject to elimination, as a phenomenon, naturally. It is good that they were called foreign agents, it is the first step, it is known who is to be wiped out. But we have to wipe them out. Because otherwise we will not survive… It is not sufficient to say that this is a agent, it is necessary to do what our grandfather did to an agent – he eliminated him. And the agent disappeared as a phenomenon and as a factor of destroying the country».

Further on during the press-conference Igor Kalyapin announced that interregional non-governmental organization  «The Committee On Prevention of Torture», which will not have foreign sources of financing, starts its work beginning from August 3 of this year.

«However, without financing it is impossible to perform all this huge amount of work that the Committee Against Torture was conducting, related to criminal cases maintenance, carrying out public investigations, rendering medical assistance, – Kalyapin emphasized. – In order to continue this work our team created six NGOs, each of which will be dealing with a dedicated problem. But all these organizations will not be performing any public activity, because any mentioning about the work of these organizations in mass media can be interpreted as political activity».

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