Human Rights Council prepares amendments to NGO law

2 September 2014

Source: (info)
Russia's Presidential Council for Human Rights has prepared amendments to the law on non-profit organisations, removing from it the penalties for "failing to register as a foreign agent." The amendments are currently undergoing revision, after which they will be forwarded to the Ministry of Justice, writes Russkaya Planeta citing Kommersant newspaper.

"The Justice Ministry has since July had the right to force organisations to be included in the foreign agents register. These penalties are therefore redundant. For example, the Women of the Don organisation in Rostov was fined 300,000 roubles as late as August," says Fedotov.

On 3 July 2012 the State Duma passed the law conferring the status of "foreign agent" on NGOs financed from abroad and involved in politics. Under this new law NGOs in Russia who receive funding for their work from foreign sources and who are involved in political activities should register as "foreign agents." Otherwise they will be subject to an administrative fine.

On 29 August the Justice Ministry expanded the NGO foreign agents register, including the Soldiers' Mothers of St. Petersburg and the Institute for the Development of Freedom of Information.

Translated by Natascha Kearsey