The EU has condemned the pressure on civil society in Russia
The EU condemned the decision of the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office to add several NGOs to the list of “undesirables” in Russia. Among them is the Czech Spolecnost Svobody Informace (Freedom of Information Society), based in Prague.
The move is further confirmation of “the Russian authorities’ contempt for a vibrant and independent civil society,” said a statement from Peter Stano, a spokesman for the EU’s foreign policy and security service.
None of the activities of these NGOs justifies such measures. The European Union has repeatedly condemned Russian legislation on “unwanted organizations” and “foreign agents.” Both laws contradict Russia’s international commitments and founding documents in the field of human rights and have a negative impact on the work of civil society in Russia, “the text reads.
“We fully support the key role played by independent NGOs in developing mutual understanding between the parties and improving relations between them.” – points out the EU representative.
The address also says that it is vital to create an open and inclusive environment for the development of such organizations.
“The EU calls on the Russian authorities to repeal these decisions and to contribute to the promotion of people-to-people contacts, which will be mutually beneficial for both Russia and the European Union.” – it is said in conclusion.
The law on “undesirable organizations” was adopted in Russia in 2015. The Russian Prosecutor General’s Office may declare “undesirable” any foreign or international non-governmental organization if it decides that its activities threaten the “foundations of the constitutional order”, “defense capabilities or security. of Russia “. Legal participation, including criminal liability, is provided for participation or cooperation with such organizations.
A spokeswoman for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Liz Trossel, criticized Russia in January this year over a new law allowing individuals to be declared “foreign agents,” Radio Liberty reported.
The law has also been criticized by the OSCE. The organization said it “restricts the space for free expression, freedom of the media and the flow of information” in Russia.