Russia's Justice Ministry refuses to share the materials it used to designate anti-corruption activists as ‘foreign agents’
Russia’s Justice Ministry has refused to share a copy of the evidence it used to designate the Anti-Corruption Foundation as a “foreign agent,” the organization’s director, Ivan Zhdanov, revealed in a tweet on Tuesday.
In a letter to Zhdanov, the agency said the documents establishing the group’s receipt of foreign funding were provided by another “law-enforcement agency and marked ‘for official use only.’” Regulations prohibit the ministry from disclosing such materials, and the source of the documents (whatever they say) also remains classified.
Earlier this fall, Russia’s Justice Ministry designated the Anti-Corruption Foundation, an organization created by opposition politician Alexey Navalny, as a foreign agent, after discovering three donations from abroad. Despite the fact that the group had no control over its bank accounts at the time of the donations (due to a money-laundering investigation by police), a court later upheld the designation. The foundation is currently pursuing other legal avenues to remove itself from the “foreign agent” registry, which saddles organizations with additional regulations and requires them to identify themselves as foreign agents in all published materials.