On 30 July, Commissioner for Human Rights in the Russian Federation Ella Pamfilova explained that the procedure of non-commercial human rights organisations financing remains the same – the information that the grants for such organisations are to be ceased is not consistent with the reality.
“I would like to disprove the misgivings appearing in mass media that the grants for human rights protection have been ceased. This information is not correct. The financing procedure determined last year will remain in force,” Ms Pamfilova said. She also reminded 500 million rubles have been issued by the President’s executive order for non-commercial human rights organisations grants this year. A part of these funds have already been distributed among NCOs during the first bidding last spring. The second part is to be distributed in the next bidding in August. “Grants will continue to be issued. Besides, today some additional sources of non-commercial sector financing are being sought, since apart from state resources, investments from business and other sources are going to be attracted,” Ms Pamfilova said.
In Ms Pamfilova’s opinion human rights defenders could be misled by a recent presidential executive order to issue additional means to a number of grant operators and there was no the Civil Dignity Movement among them. “These are supplementary funds for supplementary projects. As for human rights activity, the competition is to be held in August, according to the plan. The fact that the supplementary decree fails to contain the Civil Dignity Movement doesn’t mean that the organisation will cease distributing human rights grants in future,” explained the Commissioner for Human Rights in Russia, Chairperson of the Competition Board issuing grants to non-commercial human rights organisations Ella Pamfilova.
“Possibility of such organisations to receive presidential grants is by no means banned or limited. They are on equal terms with the rest, i.e. as they participated in the competition before, the same way they will be able to participate further. The results will depend entirely on the project’s quality,” Ms Pamfilova said. The Commissioner specified that the five organisations: Agora Association, the Public Verdict Foundation, Human Rights Centre “Memorial”, Ecodefense (Kaliningrad), and JURIX, which have already been entered to the registry by the Ministry of Justice, will be able to apply for grants.
Besides, on the initiative of the Commissioner it was decided that when an organisation stops being sponsored from abroad, it will not be entered into the “foreign agents” registry.