Are NGOs to be divided into 'sheep' and 'goats'?

posted 10 Jul 2013, 09:27 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 10 Jul 2013, 09:29 ]
8 July 2013

Source: (info)
The law on NGOs as foreign agents is to be amended at the request of Vladimir Putin and the definition of “political activity” specified, according to a source close to the presidential administration.

However, public opinion research will continue to be recognized as political activity, the source told

“The exact wording has not yet been confirmed, but charitable work, for example, will not be considered political activity, as opposed to things like election monitoring or public opinion researh”, said the source.

The law on foreign agents was passed by the State Duma in summer 2012. According to the law, NGOs that receive funding from abroad and are also engaged in “political activity” must register with the Ministry of Justice as “foreign agents” and indicate that status in all their published material.

In spring 2013 the Public Prosecutor’s Office began a wave of inspections of NGOs, as a result of which a whole raft of NGOs were required to register as foreign agents. Organisations such as the public opinion research association Levada Centre, election watchdog Golos, various environmental organisations and even charities have found themselves in a similar situation.