Late in the evening of 16 January 2015 a message appeared on the website of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation stating that Interregional Non-governmental organization «The Committee Against Torture» is included in the register of non-commercial organizations performing the functions of a foreign agent. Most likely, including in this register was based on a citation of Nizhny Novgorod Prosecutor Oleg Ponasenko for elimination of the violations of the federal legislation, which was sent to the human rights defenders on 29 December last year.
«As foreign agents actions the Prosecutor’s Office imputes us the fact that we publicly tell the community and inform the authorities about the facts of police tortures and about how poorly these cases are investigated by the Investigative Committee. And in doing so we are allegedly trying to alter the policy of the state, – the Committee’s Chairman Igor Kalyapin told Novaya Gazeta. – That is, according to the Prosecutor’s Office logics, it turns out that the policy of the state involves police tortures and hiding their evidence by the investigative authorities».
For example, the Prosecutor’s citation imputes us, among other things, the political activity in the form of conducting annual picket on the International day in support of victims of torture and publishing the information about this event: «Studying the specified materials allows concluding that the actions of the Organization were targeted at attracting attention of the state authorities and the civil society, aimed directly at forming a negative public opinion for the purpose of influencing the decision-making process of the state authorities, namely altering the current state policy in the sphere of criminal prosecution».
Since applying torture as well as ineffective investigation of these facts are not part of the state policy in our country, consequently, our actions cannot be aimed at its alteration. In view of that we are definitely going to appeal against this citation of Nizhny Novgorod Prosecutor in court.
In case of negative outcome for us our organization will be closed, however, we will continue our human rights activity. We find working under the label of a «foreign agent» unacceptable and insulting.