Ministry of Justice may classify about 100 NGOs as 'foreign agents’

posted 10 Jun 2013, 00:39 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 10 Jun 2013, 00:49 ]
5 June 2013 

Source: (info)
Minister of Justice of the Russian Federation, Aleksander Konovalov, has revealed that approximately one hundred active non-profit organisations in the Russian Federation may be classified as “foreign agents”.

"It is very hard to say how many…It would be about one hundred. This is my approximation," Konovalov said. He added that not a single NGO except Shield and Sword from Chuvashia had applied to the Ministry of Justice to be registered as a “foreign agent”. In his opinion, no one has hidden the fact that Shield and Sword did this in order to understand and find out the method by which foreign agents would be identified and added to the register, Rosbalt reports.

Since March 2013 prosecutors have conducted a wave of inspections of non-profit organizations in many regions of Russia. The human rights organization Agora has analysed more than 30 notices issued to NGOs by prosecutors in connection with the law on “foreign agents” and identified more than 50 kinds of activity which the prosecutors have labelled “political.”

The first non-profit to be classified as a foreign agent was Golos. Administrative charges were brought against Golos on the grounds that it had failed to register as a “foreign agent”. Golos was fined 300,000 roubles by the court.