Civil rights organization Memorial put on foreign agent list
Russia's Ministry of Justice has put historical and civil rights society Memorial on its list of foreign agents, said Irina Shcherbakova, head of the organization's educational programs, in an interview with Meduza.
According to Shcherbakova, the Ministry made this decision as a result of its assessment of the organization's political activities.
"We are charged with criticizing the law on "foreign agents" ... criticizing advertisements in the Sakharov Center, releasing a statement on the murder of [Boris] Nemtsov ... releasing a statement about the events in the east of Ukraine in 2014," said Shcherbakova.
Memorial has been given 15 days to appeal the Ministry's decision. According to Shcherbakova, the organization has already filed its appeal.
Previously, Russia's Ministry of Justice added human rights organization Memorial and educational organization Memorial to its list of foreign agents.
Russia's law on "foreign agents" has been in effect since 2012. The Ministry of Justice assigns the "foreign agent" status to any non-profit organization that receives funding from abroad and engages in any political activity.
In May 2016, the State Duma passed a law that rendered the concept of "political activity" especially vague. Activities such as discussing laws, appealing to politicians, or offering analytical assistance to government bodies can all be seen as political.
Organizations put on the foreign agent list are often subject to inspection.