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#21 - JRL 2006-235 - JRL Home
Work of some NGOs suspended pending re-registration

MOSCOW. Oct 19 (Interfax) - Individual offices of foreign non- governmental organizations have had their activities suspended after failing to undergo the re-registration procedure stipulated in the new law on NGOs.

"Our work has been suspended as we have not received re-registration clearance," head of Amnesty International's Russian resource center Sergei Nikitin told Interfax.

"The center's educational programs in human rights in Russia and other programs intended for countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States have been suspended," he said.

Amnesty International's Moscow office hopes to receive a re- registration certificate soon, he said.

"I don't se any reasons for stretching out the process. But on the other hand, the Russian registration authorities go through the documents down to the last comma. They will most likely send our documents back to us and tell us to correct some mistakes they uncover. Being a clinical optimist, I still think that re-registration will last for at least another month," he said.

The Moscow office of the Human Rights Watch has also had its work suspended, head of the organization's Moscow office Allison Gill said.

The office's activities were suspended due to the absence of a re- registration clearance, she said, but declined to offer any official comments on behalf of Human Rights Watch.

Gill also said that a package of documents required for re- registration was submitted to the registration authorities in late September, adding that she hopes the office will re-start its work fully soon.

The international humanitarian aid organization Medecins Sans Frontieres has also seen its operations suspended in part.

Medecins Sans Frontieres Press Officer Emma Bell said her organization has three offices in Russia. The Dutch office was re- registered on Tuesday, but the Belgian and French officers have yet to be re-registered.

Medecins Sans Frontieres' work has been partially suspended, including in Moscow and in Chechnya, Bell told Interfax.

The Moscow office of the Danish Refugee Council, a major humanitarian aid organization working in the North Caucasus, told Interfax that it had been reregistered on Thursday and was working as usual.

The World Wildlife Fund's office in Russia (WWF Russia) said it had not applied for re-registration and that its office would be closed down. From now on WWF International will provide grants for nature conservation projects in Russia from abroad, it said.

Representative offices of foreign non-governmental organizations were to apply for re-registration before October 18.