Accessibility links

Breaking News

HRW Says 'Foreign Agents' Law Used To Curtail Russian NGOs' Work

Human Rights Watch (HRW) says Russia is using its controversial "foreign agents" law to "curtail a broad range of work" by nongovernmental organizations.

HRW has reviewed dozens of warnings and violation notices issued under the law from the prosecutor’s office to independent organizations, it says in a statement.

MAP AND DETAILS: The Crackdown On NGOs In Russia

The New York-based group says these documents reveal an "apparent effort to limit advocacy, advisory, and public education activities on a wide spectrum of issues that involve comment on, or interaction with, government authorities."

HRW says at least 62 groups have received warnings or orders to register as foreign agents or have been taken to court by the authorities since March.

Under the law, groups that receive foreign funding and engage in "political activity" are considered foreign agents.

Five groups have been ordered to pay fines and register.
  • 16x9 Image


    RFE/RL journalists report the news in 27 languages in 23 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established. We provide what many people cannot get locally: uncensored news, responsible discussion, and open debate.

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

If you are in Russia or the Russia-controlled parts of Ukraine and hold a Russian passport or are a stateless person residing permanently in Russia or the Russia-controlled parts of Ukraine, please note that you could face fines or imprisonment for sharing, liking, commenting on, or saving our content, or for contacting us.

To find out more, click here.