Lukin challenges law on “foreign agents” in Constitutional Court

3 September 2013 

Source: (info
Human Rights Ombudsman Vladimir Lukin has lodged an appeal against the law on foreign agents in the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation. As reported, citing an article in the newspaper Kommersant from 3rd September, the appeal was received by the Court on Friday 30th August. 

In the appeal, Lukin calls the definitions of “political activity” and “foreign agent” used in the law “politically and legally incorrect.” 

The grounds for the appeal to the Constitutional Court were a number of court decisions that found a series of not-for-profit organisations to be ‘foreign agents’, and imposed fines on their directors. 

Earlier, the Kostroma Civic Initiatives Support Centre had asked the Constitutional Court to review the amendments to the law on non-profit organisations, claiming that that the law contravenes five articles of the Russian Constitution. 

The law, which demands that non-profit organisations which engage in “political activity” and receive foreign funding register on a list of “foreign agents”, came into force in 2012. Leading human rights organisations have criticised the law. In particular, the human rights defenders pointed out that the law does not accurately define what is meant by “political activity.” During extensive inspections of non-profits, which began in the spring of 2013, more than fifty types of activity were considered to be “political” in nature, according to the Agora human rights organisation.