The President of Russian Federation Vladimir Putin
Ministry of Justice
Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Nationalities
Chairman of the State Duma Committee for Regional Politics and problems of the North and Far East
Chairman of the Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights
With this communication we would like to express our deepest concern over the recent ruling of Moscow City court that on 6th of November has decided to support the Russian Ministry of Justice’s request to liquidate the Center of Support for Indigenous Peoples of the North (CSIPN), a Russian non-governmental organization (NGO) working on issues affecting indigenous peoples in Russia. The Ministry of Justice request was explained by a number of formal reasons and despite the fact that CSIPN presented to the court documents proving that many of the irregularities have been or were in the process of being corrected, the Moscow City Court decided to ignore this information and to support the request of the Ministry of Justice.
As the Moscow City Court decision is just a last blow in the sustained campaign against the CSIPN and its leadership that started some 5 years ago we interpret this decision in the wider context of illegalization of human rights organizations and broader dismantlement of civil society in Russia.
Founded in 2000, CSIPN (http://www.csipn.ru/) is currently one of the leading NGOs working on indigenous rights in Russia. CSIPN provides informational, expert and legal support to representatives of indigenous peoples in Russia and plays an important role in international processes related to the promotion of indigenous peoples rights around the world. CSIPN is accredited with various UN agencies and bodies such as UNESCO, UNEA, FAO, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and others. Rodion Sulyandziga, the director of the CSIPN is an independent expert of the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (EMRIP) of the UN Human Rights Council.
We believe that CSIPN firm and vocal stand in defence of the rights of indigenous peoples of Russia, its international visibility is what motivated the Ministry of Justice to suggest such a drastic measure against a leading indigenous peoples organization and the Moscow City Court to support it. The case of CSIPN speaks directly to the Paragraph 27 of the Human Rights Council Resolution (42/19 Human rights and indigenous peoples) adopted in September 2019:
“[Human Rights Council] Notes with great concern the increase in cases of reprisals against indigenous human rights defenders, indigenous peoples’ representatives attending United Nations meetings, and United Nations mandate holders working on the rights of indigenous peoples…”
Early December 2019 CSIPN is planning to present its appeal to the Moscow City Court decision.
We, indigenous and human rights organizations from around the world would like to express our solidarity with our brothers and colleagues from Russia and demand to stop harassment and pressure on CSIPN and its individual members.
Gam A. Shimray
Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP), Chiangmai, Thailand
Document of the full statement and list of endorsing organizations can be downloaded from here.