Amnesty International: "NGO court defeat is another 'dangerous' sign for human rights"

posted 20 Oct 2013, 13:41 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 20 Oct 2013, 13:44 ]
17 October 2013 

Source: (info)
Russian authorities' attempts to stifle human rights work in the country are increasing, Amnesty International warned after an NGO in the city of Ryazan lost a lawsuit triggered by a repressive new law.

Memorial Ryazan unsuccessfully challenged a prosecutor's warning that it had failed to register as a "foreign agent" under the law, which deems its human rights work "political".

"Memorial Ryazan's defeat in court is yet another dangerous development for Russian NGOs and highlights the chilling implications the 'foreign agents law' has on the future of human rights reporting in the country," said Sergei Nikitin, director of Amnesty International's Moscow office.

"If other Russian courts take a similar line, it will escalate a process that essentially paralyses the country's human rights movement - a prospect the Kremlin would appear to relish."

Last July, President Vladimir Putin approved the so-called “foreign agents law” which came into effect in November 2012.

"The restrictive NGO law is the Russian authorities' thinly disguised attempt to continue to stifle and discredit the work of those that dare to report on human rights issues," said Sergei Nikitin.

Amnesty International has stated on several occasions that the law on ‘foreign agents’ contravenes the Russian Federation’s obligations under international human rights law, including the right to freedom of association

AI Index: PRE01/545/2013 "Russia: NGO court defeat is another 'dangerous' sign for human rights"  (16 October 2013)