INDEPENDENT NEWS

Cablegate: October 23 Ngo Re-Registration Update

Published: Mon 23 Oct 2006 02:12 PM
VZCZCXRO7362
RR RUEHDBU RUEHLN RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHMO #1890 2961412
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 231412Z OCT 06
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4381
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
UNCLAS MOSCOW 011890
SIPDIS
SENSITIVE
SIPDIS
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL PHUM EAID KDEM PREF RS
SUBJECT: OCTOBER 23 NGO RE-REGISTRATION UPDATE
REF: MOSCOW 11831
1. (SBU) We continue to receive positive reports on the
re-registration of foreign NGOs. Of the 29 NGOs that USAID
is tracking, another three have been registered by the
Federal Registration Service (FRS) since October 20, bringing
the total re-registered to eleven. Of the remaining
eighteen, seventeen have submitted their applications. These
seventeen are keeping a low profile at this time, although a
number of them "pre-funded" sub-grantees prior to the October
18 deadline. The FRS is not expected to share further
information with the public about the re-registration status
of other foreign NGOs until October 27.
2. (SBU) Although some Western press reports have suggested
that human rights NGOs are "not getting registered," the
evidence to date has not reflected a targeting of these
rights-based NGOs. The Danish Refugee Council was
re-registered October 19 (reftel). Medecins Sans Frontieres
has also been re-registered, as have Oxfam and the
International Center for Crisis Prevention. Two bellwethers,
Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, have been late
in submitting their applications. Human Rights Watch (HRW)
has not yet submitted all of its documents to the FRS, but
hopes to do so within the next two weeks. HRW's interlocutor
at the FRS has assured it that there will be no problems.
Sergei Nikitin, Amnesty International's Head of Office told
us that its re-registration application was submitted on
October 16. (NOTE: The rules allow the FRS 30 days in which
to review applications, although it has been processing
re-registration packets in less time than that.) In the
meantime, both of these organizations have temporarily ceased
external activities.
3. (SBU) COMMENT. Most NGOs expect to be re-registered and
there is every indication that the FRS is attempting to
process their applications expeditiously. The new pressing
deadline is October 31, when registered NGOs will have to
submit their third quarter reports and their 2007 program
reports. The committee that has been directed to formulate
guidance for the contents of the program report was
established only last week and has yet to meet. Embassy will
continue to monitor both the re-registration process and
reporting requirement developments. END COMMENT.
BURNS
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