Monday, May 04, 2015


UN Seeks Assurance Russian NGOs Won’t Face Reprisals

Graffiti saying
Graffiti saying "foreign agents. I love USA" is seen on the building used by used by the Memorial Human Rights Center in Moscow.

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As ecologists worldwide mark World Environment Day, Russia’s green activists say they are under unprecedented pressure from authorities. Russian prosecutors have carried out spot inspections at hundreds of nongovernmental organizations in recent months, part of a controversial campaign aimed at forcing some groups to register as "foreign agents." Environmental groups have not been spared.
United Nations human rights experts have expressed concern that two Russian nongovernmental organizations that provided information for the UN Committee Against Torture have recently been charged by Russian authorities.

Russian prosecutors have charged the Antidiscrimination Center Memorial in St. Petersburg and the Public Verdict Foundation in Moscow with violating legislation that stipulates nonprofit groups involved in political activities register as "foreign agents" if they received funds from abroad.

The Committee Against Torture said on June 6 that the charges were based on extracts from the two groups’ submissions to the committee in November.

The committee asked the Russian ambassador to the UN in Geneva, Aleksei Borodavkin, for "urgent clarification."

It also sought reassurance that the two groups and other NGOs in Russia won’t face any reprisals "as a result of their legitimate activities."

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