Human Rights Watch: "In Russia, the government continues to pursue its unprecedented crackdown on independent critics"

posted 22 Sep 2015, 12:04 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 22 Sep 2015, 12:05 ]
"In Russia, the government continues to pursue its unprecedented crackdown on independent critics. For the fourth year in a row, parliament adopted laws and authorities engaged in repressive practices.  The authorities used an infamous 2012 law that demonizes advocacy groups that accept foreign funding, to smear as “foreign agents” almost 90 nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), including the country’s leading human rights groups. At least 13 NGOs chose to close rather than bear the stigmatizing and untrue “foreign agent” label. In March 2015 parliament adopted a law on “undesirable foreign organizations” that authorizes the extrajudicial banning of foreign organizations that allegedly undermine Russia’s security, defense, or constitutional order. Russians who maintain ties with “undesirables” or share their materials with Russian audiences face penalties ranging from fines to a maximum six years in prison. In August, Russia banned as “undesirable” the National Endowment for Democracy, an American donor that had funded Russian rights groups.  Various politicians urged the government to ban many other groups, deepening the climate of suspicion and fear."

- 'UN Human Rights Council: Item 4 General Debate - Situations that require the Council's serious concern,' Human Rights Watch, 21 September 2015
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