The Humanist Youth Movement is well known in Murmansk for its active involvement in protest and civil society actions. They protested against the Pussy Riot trial, in support of abolition of mandatory military service, freedom of speech and against LGBT discrimination. According to their official agenda, the movement promotes humanistic values and opposes discriminatory ideologies.
This. however, gave food for suspicion on the part of the local law enforcement agencies. The Pervomaysky Public Prosecutor's of Murmansk accused the movement of failure to submit an application for inclusion onto the list of NGOs deemed "foreign agents" in accordance with the recently adopted laws.
The movement received rather unexpected support from the regional Ministry of Justice, who made a statement to the effect that they had conducted a routine audit of the movement's operations in March and did not discover any elements of political activity. This is one of the identifying marks of "foreign agents". The other is receiving funding from abroad.
"We do not deny the latter fact. We regularly submit all necessary financial reports, our financial accounts are transparent. And we are not involved in any political activity," says Tatyana Kulbakina, one of the leaders of NGO Humanist Youth Movement.
The next hearing in the case of the Humanist Youth Movement is scheduled for July 8, at 3.30 pm and is open to the public.