The Ecological Watch for Northern Caucasus. Photo: press service of EcoWatch, http://ewnc.org/ewnc_about

13 April 2019, 08:26

Court in Adygea fines "EcoWatch"

The "Ecological Watch for Northern Caucasus" (EcoWatch) is the first organization fined for involvement in the activities of the "Open Russia" (recognized as an undesirable organization in Russia by the General Prosecutor's Office). The City Court of Maikop, the capital of Adygea, considered the case, although activists could not come to the session, the lawyer of the "EcoWatch" has stated.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on April 9, searches were conducted in the office of the EcoWatch; computers and office equipment were seized. The activist Viktor Chirikov has linked the law enforcers' actions with the cooperation of the EcoWatch with Yana Antonova, the coordinator of "The Open Russia"* in the Krasnodar Territory; Yana's home was also searched on the same day.

The "EcoWatch" has been fined by 80,000 roubles under the administrative article on the activities of an "undesirable organization", the court has informed, finding a violation of the law in that eco-activists placed their texts in the blogs on the website of the "Open Russia"*, and placed materials with the logo thereof in their own resources, the Federal News Agency reported in its website on April 12.

Maxim Olenichev, the advocate of the "EcoWatch", has noted that activists were not present at the court session, because on that very day searches were conducted in the "EcoWatch" office. "The court considered the case in the absence of the organization, despite the fact that Andrei Rudomakha, the coordinator of the 'EcoWatch', called the court and informed about these extraordinary circumstances. Also, the investigator, who conducted the search, also called the court and informed the judge; however, the latter decided that it wasn't a valid reason," the "MBKh Media" has quoted Mr Olenichev as saying today.

* The General Prosecutor's Office of Russia recognized activities of two organizations registered in the UK and containing the words "Open Russia" in their names as undesirable in the Russian Federation.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on April 12, 2019 at 09:04 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

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