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Russian Justice Ministry to Ban Election Monitor Golos

The Justice Ministry has asked Moscow's Basmanny District Court to ban independent election monitor Golos, the Vedomosti business daily reported Thursday.

According to the ruling, Golos failed to present the proper documentation requested by the ministry during a probe in August 2015. The organization also changed their address without notifying the Ministry, a violation of NGO law, Vedomosti reported.

After checking the results of previous probes into Golos, the ministry discovered several other violations of the law. For instance, the organization's charter allows it to independently monitor elections, though by the law such observers can only be appointed by parties or candidates.

Golos did not present any information on addressing the violations after a warning from the Justice Ministry, Vedomosti reported.

Golos will appeal the court's ruling, the voters' rights group co-chairman Grigory Melkonyants said. "These measures of compulsion violate the freedom of organizations," he said, Vedomosti reported. "It is not the Justice Ministry's business whether or not to liquidate our organization," he added, Vedomosti reported.

The Golos NGO was added to the list of "foreign agents" in September 2015.

The elimination of Golos would be the second defeat of a "foreign agent" this week, following the ban of the NGO Agora on Wednesday.

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