Russian “Foreign Agents” Law Forces Closure of “Memorial” Human Rights Group | Freedom House

Russian “Foreign Agents” Law Forces Closure of “Memorial” Human Rights Group

Washington

The Memorial Anti-Discrimination Center announced April 9 its closure in St. Petersburg, in response to a court demand that it register as a “foreign agent.” Prosecutors claimed that the organization violated the law by sharing information about discrimination and abuse with an international body, in this case the United Nations Committee Against Torture, without officially registering as a “foreign agent.”

“The foreign agent law is doing exactly what the Russian government created it to do, which is to force human rights groups and other NGOs in Russia to make the impossible choice of rejecting the values they have struggled for and register as a ‘foreign agent’ or shut their doors,” said Susan Corke, director for Eurasia programs at Freedom House.  “It is a tragedy for us all when dedicated activists who defend universal human rights are forced to close shop. “

“The court action against ADC Memorial penalizes an organization for working with the UN Committee against Torture, a key civil society role in protecting human rights, and undermines efforts to hold Russia to its international obligations,” Corke said.

Russia is rated Not Free in Freedom in the World 2014 and Freedom of the Press 2013, and Partly Free in Freedom on the Net 2013.

To learn more about Russia, visit:
Freedom in the World 2014: Russia
Freedom on the Net 2013: Russia
Freedom of the Press 2013: Russia
Nations in Transit 2013: Russia
Freedom House Blog
Freedom House on Russia: 2003-2014

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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.

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