New Draconian Law Used to Blacklist First Overseas NGO

The recent Russian Law on “Undesirable Foreign Organisations” saw the first overseas NGO, the US based organisation National Endowment for Democracy (NED) added to the blacklist. Signed into law by President Putin in May 2015 the law will now be used to register NED as an “undesirable organisation” essentially cutting its vital funding presence to Russian NGO’s.

Any foreign or international organisations “who pose a threat to the foundation of the constitutional order of the Russian Federation, the defense capability of the country or the security of the state” can be designated as undesirable by Russia’s Prosecutor General.

“The ‘Undesirable Foreign Organisations’ Law sole purpose is to strangle civil society and to sever vital funding ties from outside the country which Russian NGO’s depend on to survive” said John Stauffer, Legal Director, Civil Rights Defenders.

NED has been active in Russia for a number of years providing vital funding to human rights defenders and civil society organisations.

“It is yet another low ebb for human rights in Russia and clearly demonstrates the lengths to which the Russian authorities will go to muzzle and destroy civil society,” added John Stauffer.