Two protocols were drawn up against the European University in St. Petersburg regarding participation in the activities of an “undesirable organization.” The materials of the administrative cases were received by the Dzerzhinsky District Court of St. Petersburg, Mediazona drew attention.
In May, the BBC Russian Service, citing sources at the European University in St. Petersburg, reported that the prosecutor’s office and Rosobrnadzor began checking the university “for extremism.” Departmental employees came to the university and read scientific works and publications of teachers. They also requested papers from the faculties of anthropology, history, sociology and political science with the topics of dissertations and personal files of undergraduates and graduate students.
As the university itself told Rotunda today, protocols on participation in the activities of an “undesirable organization” ” (Article 20.33 of the Administrative Code) for the university was drawn up precisely after this inspection. The reason was books found in the library about ancient Chinese philosophers, St. Petersburg museums, cultural differences and globalization.
The books were published with support from the Open Society Institute of the Soros Foundation, which was declared objectionable in 2015, and the Kennan Institute, a program of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, which was designated as objectionable in 2022.
A representative of the university told Rotunda that the books were published and accepted into the library long before the law on “undesirable organizations” appeared in Russia, and after recent years they were kept in a “special closed fund” and to no one were not issued.
The university does not agree with the protocols and is preparing objections for the court. Court dates have not yet been set.
Collaboration with an organization that has received the status of “undesirable”, or reposting its materials, first entails administrative punishment – fines for legal entities range from 50 to 100 thousand rubles. Repeated violation under Article 20.33 of the Administrative Code, participation in the leadership of an “undesirable organization” or donations to it are threatened with criminal prosecution (Article 284.1 of the Criminal Code).
Updated at 13:05: University comment added.