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Russia’s Pirate Party Refused Registration

The Finnish-Russian Civic Forum (FINROSFORUM) promotes cooperation between the peoples of Finland and Russia by supporting civic initiatives for democracy, human rights, and free speech.




Russia’s Justice Ministry has refused to register the Pirate Party, The Moscow Times reported. The ministry stated that the party could not be registered because “current legislation defined piracy as an attack on a sea or river craft, which was a criminal offense.” The organisation’s title implied that its members were criminals, the ministry added.

Pavel Rassudov, chairman of the Pirate Party of Russia, said the ministry’s attempt to label the party’s 15,000 card-carrying members as criminals was an insult. The authorities may be worried about the Pirate Party’s potential, given that around 40% of Russian voters were internet users, Rassudov noted. The Pirate Party intends to appeal the ministry’s decision.

Earlier, the Pirate Party launched “Russian WikiLeaks,” RuLeaks, which released the first photographs of a luxury Black Sea mansion linked to Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. No new party has been allowed to register in Russia since 2009. The Justice Ministry has thrown out separate requests by several different opposition groups on mere technicalities.



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