(Logo: RAIPON)

At the beginning of November 2012, The Russian government sparked major reactions internationally, when the country's Ministry of Justice ordered the closure of Russian's indigenous peoples' umbrella organization RAIPON, because of an "alleged lack of correspondence between the association's statutes and federal law".

This topic brought much attention to the Haparanda SAO Meeting that took place 14th – 15th November 2012 in the northern part of Sweden. The Senior Arctic Officials and Permanent Participant Heads of Delegation, including both Russia and RAIPON, drafted a statement which SAO Chair Gustaf Lind read at the meeting.

RAIPON´s vice-president Pavel Sulyandziga is determined to fight decision of Russian Federal Government as reported on the organization´s website.

Support from social movements, organizations and human rights groups was announced as urgently needed.

RAIPON played a central role in the international cooperation among indigenous peoples of the Russian Arctic and other Arctic states. Over the 20 years of its existence, RAIPON has worked actively to protect indigenous peoples' human rights and legal interests, as well as to promote their right to self governance. RAIPON represented 41 groups of Indigenous peoples, in total some 300,000. They live in 60 percent of the whole territory of the Russian Federation from Murmansk to Kamchatka.

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