Human Rights Watch: Russia: ‘Year of Ecology’ a Sham

posted 21 Nov 2017, 10:17 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 21 Nov 2017, 10:19 ]
5 Years of ‘Foreign Agents’ Law Devastates Environmental Groups
Russia' “foreign agents” law, which entered into force on this date five years ago, has been used to end or curtail a broad range of important work to protect Russia’s natural environment, Human Rights Watch said today. Interviews with directors of current or defunct environmental organizations across Russia reveal that at least 14 environmental nongovernmental organizations have stopped work rather than continue to operate while labelled a “foreign agent.” Authorities have used the law to eliminate or restrain groups advocating against state-sanctioned development projects, expressing concerns about proposed government policies, and petitioning authorities for the release of imprisoned environmental activists. “Although 2017 is the ‘Year of Ecology’ in Russia, there’s been no letup in government efforts to suppress environmental movements,” said Richard Pearshouse, associate environment director at Human Rights Watch. “The Justice Ministry has used the ‘foreign agents’ registry to silence some of the country’s most effective, rigorous, and committed environmental groups.” [...]
Source: Human Rights Watch [21 November 2017]