Monday, May 18, 2020

Memorial Rights Group Again Fined for Failing to Identify Itself as Foreign Agent in Ingushetia

Paul Goble

            Staunton, May 17 – A Moscow court has confirmed an earlier decision to fine Memorial 300,000 rubles (5,000 US dollars) for failing to identify itself as a foreign agent in its operations in Ingushetia. The organization had appealed a November decision and an appellate court returned the case to a lower court which re-imposed the same fine.

            Since the Russian government classified Memorial as a foreign agent in 2014 because it receives some of its financing from abroad, the Russian government has imposed 4.7 million rubles (65.000 US dollars) in fines because the group has not identified itself as required, in many cases for its operations in Ingushetia (

            Meanwhile, Ingush officials said there was cause for optimism because the number of new cases of the coronavirus had declined from 39 to 35 between May 14 and May 15. But they acknowledged that 566 people remain in hospital, with 349 of those confirmed as having the virus. Nineteen are on ventilators (

            A major reason for a more pessimistic reading of what is taking place in Ingushetia with regard to the pandemic is that people continue to turn out in large numbers and without protective gear for the funerals of prominent members of the community. One such internment took place yesterday (

            On a more positive note and reflecting the strength and vitality of civil society in Ingushetia. Local activists have been collecting money to purchase food for pets whose owners are now too impoverished to be able to take care of them (

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