"We are not agents!" - 11 NGOs apply to European Court

6 February 2013 

Source: HRO.org (info)
On 6 February 2013 eleven Russian NGOs submitted an official application to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in Strasbourg against Federal Law No. 121-FZ of 20 June 2012 “On introducing amendments to specific laws of the Russian Federation concerning the regulation of the activity of non-profit organizations acting as foreign agents” (below – the “Law on Foreign Agents”).

The 11 applicant organizations, that include human rights, educational and ecological groups, are:
  • Golos Foundation for Democracy (headquarters in Moscow), 
  • Citizens’ Watch (St. Petersburg), 
  • Civic Assistance Charitable Organization for Help to Refugees and Forced Migrants (Moscow) 
  • For Human Rights (headquarters in Moscow) 
  • Committee Against Torture (headquarters in Nizhny Novgorod) 
  • Mashr (Ingushetiya) 
  • International Memorial Society (headquarters in Moscow) 
  • Memorial Human Rights Society (headquarters in Moscow) 
  • Moscow Helsinki Group (Moscow) 
  • EcoDefence (Kaliningrad) 
  • Public Verdict (Moscow) 
The application was drafted by Furkat Tishaev, a lawyer from Memorial Human Rights Centre. The applicants are being represented by lawyers from Memorial Human Rights Centre (Moscow) and the European Human Rights Advocacy Centre (London).

On Thursday, 7 February at 13:30 representatives of the applicant organizations held a press conference at the Independent Press Centre (17/9 Prechistenka St., Moscow) to explain the following:
  • The “Law on Foreign Agents” is a crude violation of rights guaranteed by Article 11 (freedom of assembly and association), Article 10 (freedom of expression), Article 14 (prohibition on discrimination), and Article 18 (limits on the imposition of restrictions of rights) of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms; 
  • The basis on which the applicants are addressing the European Court of Human Rights; 
  • Systemic issues raised by the “Law on Foreign Agents”.
6 February, 2013