Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International among 5 organizations in proposed ‘undesirables’ list

The Prosecutor General’s Office has received the first proposal listing organizations to be included in the “undesirable organizations” list, in accordance with a law signed into effect by President Vladimir Putin on May 23. The new law can limit international NGO activity in Russia by banning “undesirable” NGO’s from carrying out any activities in the country.

Parliament member Vitaly Zolochevsky from the LDPR party prepared the proposed list and filed it with the Prosecutor General on Monday. The list includes the think tank Carnegie Moscow Center, the international history and human rights society Memorial, as well as the Moscow offices of Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International. The Prosecutor General will now review the organizations to see if they can be qualified as “undesirable.”

“The law on undesirable organizations has been passed. I think that these organizations should probably be inspected. Perhaps they have those characteristics that can qualify them as undesirable. Let the Prosecutor General decide,” explained Zolochevsky.

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According to a new law signed into effect by President Putin on May 23, foreign and international organizations can be declared “undesirable” or “presenting a threat to the basic constitutional order of the Russian Federation, its defense capability, or its state security.” The Attorney General would have the power to declare an organization undesirable without court proceedings. If an organization falls under this category, it will be forced to shut down and will be forbidden from holding public events and from possessing or distributing promotional materials, including through the media.

Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have denounced the law, calling it draconian and repressive. The Council for Civil Society and Human Rights under the President of the Russian Federation drew up a negative evaluation of the law and submitted it to the Russian parliament. The EU has also expressed its concern over Russia’s new restrictive legislation.

Read Meduza’s interview with the author of the law here