2019.10 Public Statement by the Centre for Support of Indigenous Peoples of the North (CSIPN) to start a global information campaign and solidarity action

«Moscow city court accommodates Ministry of Justice demand to terminate the Centre for the Support of Indigenous Peoples of the North»

«Moscow city court accommodates Ministry of Justice demand to terminate the Centre for the Support of Indigenous Peoples of the North»

On Nov 6, 2019, the Moscow city court held a third court hearing and upheld the demand of the Russian Ministry of Justice to close the Center for Support of Indigenous Peoples of the North (CSIPN).

Rodion Sulyandziga

What is CSIPN accused of and why is the Ministry of Justice so adamantly seeking to liquidate the organization?

The formal claims by the Ministry of Justice concern, among others, the organisation’s official address, alleged non-compliance of its by-laws with the current revised legislation and the allegation that CSIPN conducted educational courses.

These claims have been designed so broadly in order to ensure that there is only one possible outcome: the closure of the organization?

We publicly declare that this is a continuation of the pressure campaign against the organization and its leadership in retaliation for its sustained efforts to uphold the human rights of the indigenous peoples of Russia’s North, Siberia and the Russian Far East, which began in 2014 and continues to this day.

In September 2014, the border control service of the FSB, the Russian intelligence service, at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport seized Rodion Sulyandziga’s passport and later returned it with one page cut out, in order to prevent him from travelling to attend the UN World Conference on Indigenous Peoples, NY. This widely reported incident caused a diplomatic scandal.

CSIPN is the leading expert organization of the Russian Indigenous Peoples, which provides informational, educational, expert and legal support to representatives of indigenous peoples at all levels.

In 2020, the organization will celebrate its 20th anniversary. Over the years, CSIPN has developed more than 20 different capacity building programmes, conducted hundreds of seminars, internships and conferences on many issues related to indigenous peoples and their livelihood, in which more than 2,000 representatives of the northern peoples took part.

The Centre’s partners are leading scientists, experts and universities throughout the country. CSIPN is the only organization of indigenous peoples of Russia that has special status and accreditation with UN agencies such as UNESCO, UNEA, FAO, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and others.

CSIPN is a member of the educational network of the University of the Arctic. Members and experts of CSIPN actively participate in various regional, national and international meetings and programs.

Russia has always been a place of unity in diversity, whose state, society and peoples have a shared responsibility to preserve and maintain the country’s cultural heritage.

Between 2000 and 2010 censuses we have already lost two peoples: the Alyutors and the Kereks. More than ten indigenous peoples are currently on the brink of extinction and disappearance from the national map of the country, as their population does not exceed 2000 people.

We will continue our work to protect the most invisible and vulnerable segments of our society such as the indigenous peoples of the North, Siberia and the Far East, who are the last barrier to the all-out exploitation of the resources of the Arctic by corporations, and the last custodians of Russia’s natural heritage.

Today’s decision was a huge blow to the faith of the indigenous peoples of the North in access to fair justice.

The court’s decision has not yet entered into force and will be appealed, and CSIPN is waiting for a response from the Ministry of Justice to its submission of documents in order to register a new version of the by-laws.

I want to express my gratitude and thanks for their professionalism and assistance to our lawyers, Grigory Vaipan and Vladislav Chepelev, from the Institute of Public Law and Policy, who represent the interests of the Center in court.

Rodion Sulyandziga
Chairman of the Board, CSIPN
Member, UN Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Russian version



Categories: Criminalization of IP leaders, English texts, Raipon transformation

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