The Basmanny Court of Moscow extended the arrest of the co-chairman of the “Voice” movement (recognized as a foreign agent in the Russian Federation) Grigory Melkonyants for two months – until January 17, 2024. This was reported by the court’s press service.
Melkonyants is charged under Part 3 of Art. 284.1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (organizing the work of an undesirable non-governmental organization in Russia). Previously, the court sent him to a pre-trial detention center until October 17, 2023. In mid-September, the Moscow City Court left this decision stands.
A criminal case against the co-chairman of Golos was opened on August 17. Melkonyants was detained in Moscow and interrogated first as a suspect, then he was charged. He faces up to six years in prison.
The Prosecutor General’s Office recognized the association “European Network for Election Observation” (ENEMO), which included “Golos”, as undesirable on the territory of the Russian Federation in September 2021. Melkonyants himself noted in court that the only confirmed fact from the investigation of his participation in the activities of ENEMO was interaction with the Central Election Commission on June 7, 2022. According to him, there he spoke at a round table on remote electronic voting.
“Golos” was founded in 2000, in 2013 it became the first foreign agent NGO included in the register on April 9, 2013. The NGO was accused of political activity for drawing up a draft electoral code. In 2016, the NPO was liquidated at the request of the Ministry of Justice, but continued to operate as an unregistered organization. After the legislation was clarified in 2021, Golos was recognized as a foreign agent in this capacity.
At the same time, Golos is not an undesirable organization. Moreover, after ENEMO was declared undesirable, the movement suspended its membership in the association.