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Russian Court Dismisses Case Against Chechen Advocacy Group

14 November 2005 -- A court in the Russian city of Nizhnii Novgorod today ruled against a Justice Ministry order aimed at closing down a Chechen advocacy group.

The Russian-Chechen Friendship Society (RCFS) had been threatened with closure after federal authorities said it had failed to provide financial documents during an unscheduled inspection.

The court did not provide an explanation for its decision today. But RCFS head Stanislav Dmitrievskii welcomed the ruling as a "truly independent decision."

RCFS still faces a $35,000 tax bill imposed by authorities who say the group's foreign grants amount to profit and should be taxed.

RCFS, which was founded in 2000, distributes independent information about the human-rights situation in Chechnya.