Old Saint Basil's Cathedral in MoscowJohnson's Russia List title and scenes of Saint Petersburg
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#4 - JRL 2006-169 - JRL Home
Russia: NGO Leaders Says Tax Claims Are Attempt To Pressure Civil Society

MOSCOW. July 25 (Interfax) - Lyudmila Alekseyeva, the leader of the Moscow Helsinki Group, the oldest human rights organization in Russia, said tax claims against the Center for the Promotion of International Defense were an attempt to exert pressure on the civil society.

"It seems to be the beginning of the offensive for which they had adopted the law on NGOs," Alekseyeva told Interfax Tuesday.

She said that tax claims could be simultaneously caused by the fact that the employees of the Center for the Promotion of International Defense had been helping Russian citizens to file complaints to the European Human Rights Court.

"It is quite obvious that the Center for the Promotion of International Defense is a non-commercial organization that has no income. As far as I know, it gets grants which are just enough to cover wages and taxes," she said.

The head of the Center, attorney Karina Moskalenko, told Interfax that her organization had been checked three times by the tax inspectors and was presented with a tax bill totaling about 5 million rubles.

"The tax claims are unfounded," Moskalenko said.