Council of Europe criticizes Russia’s NGO law

posted 4 Dec 2014, 09:25 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 4 Dec 2014, 09:32 ]
1 December 2014

Source: (info
Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe, speaking at a meeting with Speaker Sergey Naryshkin at the State Duma, expressed his opinion that the label of "foreign agent" had no place in modern Europe.

Jagland said that he had already met civil society representatives concerned by the law during his visit to Moscow.

"They (the NGOs) are worried that they will be labelled ‘foreign agents’. This is an unwelcome development which is reminiscent of past practices,” said Yagland.

According to Rosbalt, the Secretary General agrees that complete transparency is needed in respect of NGO funding, but he is opposed to the term “foreign agent” being imposed on organisations which receive funding from abroad.

Jagland expressed his concern that the law could lead to organisations such as the Moscow School of Political Studies, which is funded by the Council of Europe, being declared “foreign agents”.

RBK reports that the journalist did not hear Naryshkin’s response to Jagland as the public part of the meeting ended at that point.

Translated by Joanne Reynolds