Staunton, October 19 – In yet another echo of one of the most notorious practices of the KGB in Soviet times, Moscow is now setting up human rights organizations with the same title and ostensibly the same purposes as real groups, a tactic intended to undermine the latter and sow confusion among Russians and others.
Olga Romanova, the founder of the Russia Behind Bars (Rus Sidyashchaya) group which monitors the treatment of those in the Russian penal system and extends them legal and other forms of assistance, says that the Russian justice ministry has registered a group with the same name and declared purpose as hers (facebook.com/Ooo.Romanova/posts/2178503278850567, reposted at newizv.ru/news/society/19-10-2018/gosudarstvo-zanyalos-feykovoy-pravozaschitoy).
Her group, which has been in existence for ten years, quickly tracked down the people behind the new group. They include a prisoner known to have cooperated with her jailors while she was incarcerated. And it is thus clear, Romanova says, that the new group is a fake created by the authorities to undermine hers by putting out the Kremlin line.
She continues that her group has called attention to this action via a press conference, but has concluded that there is no sense in going to court, given the way in which things there are invariably stacked against genuine human rights activists. Romanova asks that those who care to follow her Facebook page where she will report about this new Kremlin fraud.
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