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ITUA inspected by the authorities in Russia

28 March, 2013On 20 March the headquarters of the Interregional Trade Union of Autoworkers (ITUA) in Saint Petersburg, Russia, were visited by the representatives of the Prosecutor’s office. The authorities requested various official documents from the union.

The headquarters of the Interregional Trade Union of Autoworkers (ITUA) were visited by the officials of the Prosecutor’s office on 20 March. They were accompanied by the Ministry of Emergency Situations employees. Alexei Etmanov, ITUA president, was given a letter specifying the documents which were requested from the union.

Among the requested documents were a full list of ITUA activities in 2011 to 2013, a list of all ITUA members, various financial documents, examples of leaflets and other printed items, bank account listings; 21 articles overall.

ITUA, an IndustriALL Global Union affiliate, was identified as one of the targets of legal inspection by the authorities in Saint Petersburg. The Prosecutor’s office is inspecting all the NGOs in the city.

Russian government is increasingly suspicious of the NGO activities. Recently, it’s put a lot of pressure on such organizations. Apparently, the ITUA inspection was part of a larger campaign quite possibly targeting all the NGOs in Russia.

Interestingly, Russian law explicitly prohibits the Prosecutor’s office from requesting documents which are relevant to other government agencies, for example, financial documents relevant to the tax office. Even so, all the NGOs in Saint Petersburg were requested the same long list of paperwork.