Pirate Party of Russia Files a 7 Million Euro Lawsuit
Members of the Pirate Party of Russia have filed a lawsuit with the European Court of Human Rights. They have challenged the decision by the Ministry of Justice, who refused to register the party because of its name. PPRU are asking the court to reverse the decision taken by the Ministry of Justice. They are also asking for a compensation of 10,000 Euro for each member of the party in the lists at the time of refusal of registration (which would total about 7 million Euro).
Not only has our right of association been violated, but also the right to self political expression. Members of our party are suffering from an inability to establish a legal political union and participate in the elections, and from stupid laws governing the Internet written without experts. We estimate our “pain” at 10,000 Euro for each member of the party at the time of refusal. This is more than 700 people. – Paul Rassudov (former Chairman for the Pirate Party of Russia)
The Pirate Party of Russia (PPRU) was founded in 2009. PPRU have been active internationally from their start and they are one of the co-founders and member of the Pirate Parties International (PPI) as well as an observer member of the European Pirate Party (PPEU). The Party was established from the political stances of the international Pirate Movement; mainly focusing on the reform of copyright and patents laws in accordance with the interests of authors and society.
Today, PPRU has 46 regional branches of their party. In addition to the free exchange of information and copyright reform, PPRU also supports the reform of patent laws, free and open technology instituted in public companies, the right to privacy, an open government, direct e-democracy and freedom of speech. PPRU has made three attempts for official registration for their political party but all of them without success. The Pirate Times has reported on this previously.
While the Pirate Party was registered in many countries (Germany, Norway, Sweden, Finland, France, Spain, Czech Republic, UK, Canada, Australia, Japan, etc.), the Ministry of Justice and the judiciary of Russia denied registration of Pirate Party of Russia guided by outdated stereotypes about “pirates”, such refusal can not be motivated by the existing laws for the “sea pirates” and subjective moral principles, and it’s definitely a violation of “the right of association” provided by Article 30 of the Constitution of Russian Federation and Article 11 of the European Convention of Human Rights . – Nikolay Voronov (International Coordinator for Pirate Party of Russia and Chief Editor of Piratemedia.net)
We went through all the circles of the Russian justice system and are now able to defend our rights in an international court. I think the European Justice system doesn’t need to open their eyes too wide to be able to see the obvious fact: the members of the Pirate Party are not robbing ships. Pirate ideology is a modern political ideology of freedom of information, government transparency, a new relationships between society and the government. – Sarkis Darbinyan (Lawyer for the Pirate Party of Russia)
Since the beginning of 2013, PPRU has appealed against the illegal decisions by the Ministry of Justice, but has now exhausted all effective remedies and was not able to protect the rights of Party members from the Russian justice system. The lawsuit, handed to the European Court of Human Rights, was filed after the Russian courts refused to call the decision by the Ministry of Justice for illegal.
The authorities won’t register the party, explaining the refusal with some far-fetched reasons. There is no reason to forbid us being called the Pirate Party, and we are confident that the European Court of Human Rights will confirm this. – Vitaly Karelin (Chairman for the Pirate Party of Russia)
Featured image: CC BY PPRU