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Russia: Government Designates Free Russia Foundation as an “Undesirable” Organization
In response to the designation of the Free Russia Foundation as an “undesirable organization” by the Russian Ministry of Justice on June 28, Freedom House issued the following statement:
“Support for freedom, democracy, and equality of all under the law continues to be under siege in Russia,” said Michael Abramowitz, president of Freedom House. “This designation, in combination with Russia’s ‘foreign agents’ legislation, continues a pattern in which the Russian state is attacking the very institutions it needs in order to be a modern, democratic society. Using the ‘undesirable’ label to undermine the credible and vital work of civic organizations around the world that support the voices of Russian defenders of freedom reveals the Russian government’s disregard for the broader interests of its people.”
On June 28, the Free Russia Foundation became the 16th group added to the Russian Ministry of Justice’s list of undesirable organizations. The 2015 law on “undesirable organizations” restricts the ability of certain foreign organizations to operate in the country. The Prosecutor General's Office provided the following explanation for its decision: “Its activity threatens the foundations of the constitutional system and security of the Russian Federation.” The decision was made following the release of a report by the Free Russia Foundation that drew attention to the Kremlin’s attempts to undermine and corrupt western systems.
Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.