We have a great team. This is the most important thing

Главное — у нас есть команда

Association “Assistance in legal aid for people “Legal Basis” has been found guilty due to refusal to register itself as a “foreign agent”. Organization has to pay fine in the amount of 300 000 rubles.

Let me remind that on 22-July-15 magistrate court of Yekaterinburg fined human rights organization “Legal Basis”. This fine was imposed as a part of administrative case initiated by Ministry of Justice of the Sverdlovsk region due to refusal to declare itself as foreign agents.

Regional Ministry of Justice and regional prosecutor office free legal aid for convicts is something like political moves. Appealing of unlawful actions of jailers is also political moves and as a whole these moves are focused on state policy shift in Russia.


Judge of regional court in Yekaterinburg Vladimir Zhabreyev before deliberations room asked me what the problem was to register as a foreign agent and keep working further.

Looking into his eyes, I remembered those two days when we were trying to prove absurdness of accusations and answered: I’m not going to put a label “foreign agent” on my organization and confess something I’ve not done at all.

I thought to myself that before I was sentenced to three years of imprisonment because I had refused to confess things I hadn’t done and now my organization was closed down. I consider it as changes for the better.

After leaving courthouse, I felt sad: on behalf of “Legal Basis” we’ve done so much, helped so many people and in a blink I lose my organization. It was overwhelming.

Then a great idea dawned on me: the most important is we have a team with whom we will keep working.

To be continued…

Aleksey Sokolov, human rights defender



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