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Rights Group of the Week: Saratov Regional Organization For Diabetics charged under 'foreign agent' law

posted 15 Jan 2018, 13:35 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 16 Jan 2018, 00:08 ]
Prosecutors have filed charges accusing the Saratov Regional Organization For Diabetics of failing to register as a "foreign agent" NGO, RFE/RL has reported, with court proceedings set to begin on 15 January.  As RFE/RL notes: "
For more than three decades, the nongovernmental Saratov Regional Organization For Diabetics has provided vital practical and informational assistance to the more than 80,000 people diagnosed with diabetes in Russia's mid-Volga region." 

The charges were filed, Novaya gazeta reported, on 28 December 2017. The pressure against the Saratov NGO had mounted last August, when one Nikita Smirnov, a local medical student and activist with the youth wing of the United Russia party, wrote a denunciation to prosecutors against the organization. Novaya gazeta reports that the academic Ivan Konovalov, who has written an expert evaluation of the NGO for the case, stated in his report: "The Saratov Regional NGO for Diabetics passes information to foreign partners about the region's so-called "sore points," especially in the sphere of medical care, that can be used to generate protest moods in society."  

In its report RFE/RL notes that the Saratov Regional Organization For Diabetics received grants to support its work from the presidential administration in 2014 and 2015

Robert Coalson, Darina Shevchenko, 'Russian Diabetics' Rights Group Under Threat Over 'Foreign Agent' Claim,' RFE/RL, 10 January 2018
'Саратовская прокуратура потребовала признать общество больных диабетом иностранным агентом,' Novaya gazeta, 28 December 2018