Officials deprive Lyudmila Kuzmina, head of Golos Volga division, of her entire pension

posted 7 Nov 2016, 06:29 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 7 Nov 2016, 06:31 ]
19 October 2016


Lyudmila Kuzmina, the head of the Samara division of the election monitor Golos, has had her entire pension seized under the action of execution filed by the Federal Tax Service of Russia, Radio Svoboda reports, citing commentary by Lyudmila Kuzmina herself on Facebook.

The tax authorities accused Kuzmina of tax evasion from 2010 to 2012, when the Golos human rights activists organised election monitoring work in regions of Russia using donations from the US Agency for International Development (USAID).

In the course of the harassment of Golos by officials from various state departments, the tax authorities stated that Golos ought to have paid taxes on donations as well as on commercial profit.

The Federal Tax Service claimed that the “Transparent Elections” programme had been implemented in the interests of the United States, and therefore the financial assistance from USAID should be counted as the human rights activists’ income, on which they ought to pay taxes.

Golos has labelled this accusation absurd, particularly due to the fact that the human rights activists received the money from USAID from 2009 to 2011. It was at that time legal for USAID to work in Russia and the agency was accredited by all relevant authorities.

Previously, in the course of her prosecution, Lyudmila Kuzmina’s pension and her apartment in Samara had been seized by the authorities.

Translated by Kate Goodby