Human Rights Council condemns adding of latest charities to 'foreign agents' list and criticizes policy of Ministry of Justice

posted 3 Jun 2015, 03:15 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 3 Jun 2015, 03:26 ]
1 June 2015

Source: (info
The Presidential Council of the Russian Federation for Civil Society Development and Human Rights has issued a statement in connection with the registration of the Dynasty Foundation and the Liberal Mission Foundation in the list of NGOs 'performing the functions of a foreign agent'.

"Aware of our own share of responsibility for the policies of the Russian state with respect to non-profit organizations, we consider it our moral duty to apologize to Dmitry Zimin and Evgeny Yasin for the offensive label 'foreign agent' with which the charities they head have been labelled by First Deputy Minister of Justice Mr S.A. Gerasimov.

"If the purpose of this demonstrative act was to discredit, in the eyes of the public, people whose reputation is absolutely flawless, it is obviously unattainable: Dmitry Zimin and Evgeny Yasin, known around the world as true patriots of Russia, invested in the development of civic consciousness and national science not only all their strength, but also their own money (there were simply no other sources of financing or funds for the charities which have now been included in the notorious 'foreign agents' registry).

"From the first days of the enactment of this law on so-called 'foreign agents', by its very vagueness incompatible with the rule of law, we have been striving to achieve its amendment it.

"However, changes have been minimal, and the number of entities on the registry has already passed 60 and includes dozens of human rights, environmental and other socially-oriented NGOs.

"The latest example of pointedly absurd enforcement overwhelms our patience.

"We insist that the Justice Minister A. Konovalov overturns the decision of his Deputy.

"If this is not done, we believe it is essential to apply to court to quash it.

"And the notorious law should immediately be amended or recognized as no longer in force. There is simply no other option."

Translated by Olena Gulyanytska