Nizhny Novgorod NGOs targeted again

The Director of the Migrant Help Center in Russia’s Nizhny Novgorod, Almaz Choloyan, alleges that local human rights activists have launched a smear campaign against her, NTA-Privolzhye news agency reports.

Earlier, Choloyan appeared on national TV channel NTV’s programme, “Humanitarian ration,” and made several accusations against NGOs in Nizhny Novgorod, specifically against the Russian-Chechen Friendship Society (RCFS), its successor organisation, the Foundation to Support Tolerance, and the Other Russia opposition coalition.

Naming RCFS leaders Stanislav Dmitrievsky and Oksana Chelysheva, she said that local human rights activists are “swindlers only interested in foreign money.” The accusations have since been repeated in Russian media. The authorities in Nizhny Novgorod have waged a concerted campaign of harassment against local dissidents.

The human rights activists alleged that Choloyan made her accusations under pressure from the authorities, given that she is under threat of criminal charges being brought against herself. Choloyan denied this, insisting that what she said on NTV was true. Choloyan said she intended to defend her case in court.

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