22 July 2014
On 21 July 2014 the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation added five more human rights NGOs to the “Register of non-profit organizations functioning as foreign agents”. Among them is the Memorial Human Rights Centre, which is the main Memorial organization in the field of human rights.
We are convinced that these organizations, as well as all those that were entered into the Register earlier against their will, are acting exclusively in the interests of Russia as they effectively help to defend the rights of citizens from infringements by government officials.
The enforced entry into the Register of “foreign agents” is an attempt to prevent this work.
Instead of fighting against violations of civic rights, the government is conducting a war against those who expose these violations.
This kind of practice (including the use of the term “foreign agent” itself) has already been tried during Soviet times and nothing good came of it.
The current rushed legislation on “foreign agents” is not directed against the real problems facing the country, but is intended only to weaken civil society in Russia.
We can only repeat what we have been saying for the past two years, from the moment the bill on “foreign agents” was introduced into the State Duma. This law brings shame on Russia, it cannot be improved or amended and must be repealed.
Board of the International Memorial Society
Translated by Olga Cable