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Russian authorities put pressure on Ecodefense with new fines, shut down group’s bank account

Russian Ministry of justice initiated several court cases against Russian environmental group Ecodefense in December 2018 and January 2019. As a result, Ecodefense was fined for over 2 million of Rubles (about 28,000 Euro) over violations of a «foreign agent» law.

Ecodefense does not accept a label of a «foreign agent» as group’s activities aimed at protection of environmental and human rights of Russians. Ecodefense insist the Ministry of Justice is organizing a political repression against independent environmental group to spread fear and chase those who criticise the government.

According to Russian Ministry of Justice, Ecodefense was forcibly included to a list of «foreign agents» because it organised successful campaign against construction of the nuclear power plant near Kaliningrad. This nuclear plant construction was frozen in 2013.

Ecodefense became first environmental group in Russia that was forcibly included to a list of «foreign agents» by the Ministry of justice in July 2014. At the same time, several prominent human rights groups such as «Memorial», «Agora», «Public Verdict» were forcibly included to this list too. [1]

Ecodefense is among 60+ Russian civil society groups who applied to the European Court on Human Rights over Russian «foreign agent» law. Groups said Russian law violates the European convention on human rights and threatens the existence of civil society organisations in Russia. The case is called «Ecodefense and others vs Russia» and ECHR is currently in communication with Russian government over it. [2][3]

Ecodefense is one of the oldest environmental groups in Russia, it was founded in 1989 in Kaliningrad. It campaigns against new nuclear power plants and coal mining, for preserving forests and improving environmental education.

For more info:
+7 903 2997584 (Vladimir Slivyak)
ecodefense@gmail.com
http://ecodefense.ru

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[1]https://www.interfax.ru/russia/386967

[2]https://www.kommersant.ru/doc/3570102

[3]https://www.kommersant.ru/docs/2018/ECHR.pdf

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