The Prosecutor's oath as ideological sabotage

Событие | Пресс центр

20 July 2015

It turns out that it is prohibited to distribute cards with the text of the Prosecutor’s oath without mentioning that these cards were made by a foreign agent. Chairman of INGO «The Committee Against Torture» Igor Kalyapin was informed about this today, as he was summoned to the Department of the Federal Supervision Agency for Information Technologies and Communications for the Volga Federal District in order to draw up a report on administrative violation under part 2 Article 19.34 of the Administrative Offences Code of the Russian Federation.

Part 2 of Article 19.34 of the Administrative Offences Code of the Russian Federation (violation of the procedure of the activity of a non-commercial organization performing functions of a foreign agent) runs as follows: publishing by a non-commercial organization, performing the functions of a foreign agent, of the materials and/or their distribution, including via mass media and/or via Internet, without indication that these materials are made and/or distributed by a non-commercial organization, performing the functions of a foreign agent, leads to imposition of an administrative fine on the executive officials from one hundred to three hundred thousand roubles; on legal persons – from three hundred to five hundred thousand roubles.

Report on administrative violation states that on 26 June 2015 the Committee Against Torture organized a picket in the framework of the International Day of the UN in support of torture victims. This fact is confirmed by the materials of the regional Ministry of Justice, Center for Extremism Countermeasures of the Chief Directorate of the Ministry of the Interior for the Nizhny Novgorod region, as well as by three applications from the Nizhny Novgorod citizens.

«In violation of item 1 of Article 24 of the Federal law dated 12.01.1996 № 7-FZ «Оn non-commercial organizations» information leaflet of INGO «The Committee Against Torture» headed «Prosecutor, remember about the oath you have given» does not contain any information that this material is published and (or) distributed by a non-commercial organization performing the functions of a foreign agent. In addition, the posters and banners used during the public event on 26.06.2015 with captions “Freedom from torture Effective investigation Fair trial», «While there are tortures in Russia – we need the Committee Against Torture», «26 June – International day in support of torture victims», also did not contain any indications that these materials are published and (or) distributed by a non-commercial organization performing the functions of a foreign agent», – states the report on administrative violation.

Having thoroughly examined the text of the report, commented on its content in the following way: «Formally the Ministry of Justice and Federal Supervision Agency for Information Technologies and Communications are completely right. They act in strict accordance with this idiotic law. But the result is correspondingly idiotic: we have to put a caption under the text of the Russian Prosecutor’s oath stating «distributed by a foreign agent», and our work against torture is pronounced by this Law to be directed against the government policy in the interests of some unknown foreign mastermind. By the way, our colleagues in Orenburg were distributing the Constitution of the Russian Federation, I wonder if we had to put a caption «distributed by a foreign agent» on it, too. In my opinion, our lawmakers are totally confused, it would help if during their holidays they re-read something simple, for example, an immortal masterpiece of Vladimir Mayakovsky «What is good and what is bad».

As we have previously reported, on 8 July 2015 the panel of judges of the Nizhny Novgorod Region Court dismissed the appellate complaint of the Committee Against Torture and upheld a decision of judge of the Sovetsky District Court Olga Tonenkova, who declared the petition of Nizhny Novgorod Region Prosecutor Oleg Ponasenko legal. Based on this petition the organization was included by the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation in the list of non-commercial organizations, «performing the functions of a foreign agent».