10 July 2012
n-ost correspondent Pavel Lokshin spoke with Ludmila Alekseeva on the eve of the first reading in the State Duma of the new NGO bill on 6 July 2012.
n-ost: The Russian Parliament is about to debate a new bill which labels NGOs that receive international funding “foreign agents”. It forces them to reregister and disclose their finances or else to face exorbitant fines, a ban on their activities or even prison terms. How will the Moscow Helsinki Group, of which you are a co-founder, respond to this bill?
Ludmila Alekseeva: The Kremlin will wait in vain for us to register as “foreign agents”. We won’t let ourselves be branded like that. If the bill is adopted we will give up foreign funding. We will accept restrictions on our activities. How other representatives of civil society will respond I don’t know. [Read more]
This is a translation by Rights in Russia of an original German text made available by kind permission of n-ost
Ludmila Alekseeva lives in Moscow and is chair of the Moscow Helsinki Group. She is a member of the Presidential Council on Civil Society and Human Rights.