Tag Archives: foreign agent

EU condemns Russia EED limitations

“The decision by the Russian authorities to include the European Endowment for Democracy (EED) on their list of “undesirable organisations” is unacceptable” reads the statement of the European External Action Service spokesperson.

“The EED is a values-based organisation. It represents tenets and principles that are shared by the EU, its Member States, and by many other countries around the world.

“We urge the relevant Russian authorities to reconsider their decision, and withdraw the European Endowment for Democracy from the list of “undesirable organisations”.

“The EU has repeatedly condemned the Russian legislation on “undesirable organisations” and “foreign agents”. Both laws contribute to restricting civil society, independent media and political opposition, and have a negative impact on the work of civil society in Russia.

“Democracy is a universal value that includes respect for human rights as enshrined in international law”, the statement of the EU diplomat concludes.

Image: Moscow, Russia

EU-OSCE against Russia «foreign agent» law

“The State Duma of the Russian Federation this week passed, in the third and final reading, a legislative act widening the scope of the already existing “foreign agent” media law, under which also individuals may be recognised as “foreign agents” says the statement of the European External Action Service spokesperson.

“The European Union has repeatedly said that the existing Russian legislation on labelling both NGOs and media outlets as “foreign agents” imposes additional administrative and financial burden as well as stigmatises the media or NGO concerned, thus restricting the exercise of fundamental freedoms. This practice clearly goes against Russia’s human rights obligations and commitments.

“Taking into account the already limited space for free media in the country, a further extension of the scope of the legislation is yet another worrying step against free and independent media and access to information as well as further attempt to silence independent voices in Russia.

“We support the call by OSCE Representative for Freedom of the Media for Russian lawmakers to abandon the law”.

Image above: Moscow, Russia

Russia ‘foreign agent’ label reduces access to information

“The “foreign agent” legislation goes against Russia’s human rights obligations and commitments, and the extension of its scope to foreign media, in addition to its existing application to Russian NGOs, is a further threat to free and independent media and to access to information, and yet another attempt to shrink the space for independent voices in Russia.” – says the statement of the European External Action Service (EEAS), reacting of new law, regulating operation of foreign outlets.
The President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin signed legislation allowing the Ministry of Justice to impose the use of the “foreign agent” label against any foreign media receiving, directly or indirectly, foreign funding.
“The European Union has a longstanding and clear position that the existing Russian legislation on labelling NGOs as “foreign agents” and the ensuing fines, inspections and stigmatisation for the organisations labelled, further tighten the restrictions on the exercise of fundamental freedoms in Russia, consume the scarce resources of NGOs and inhibit independent civil society in the country” – the EEAS statement concludes.

Russia labels American outlets as ‘foreign agents’

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law on  new measures allowing authorities to list media outlets as “foreign agents” in response to what Kremlin says is unacceptable Washington pressure on Russian media abroad.

The law passed through both Russian houses of parliament in the last two weeks. It will allow Moscow to force foreign media to brand news they provide to Russians as the work of “foreign agents” and oblige them disclose their funding sources.

A copy of the law was published on the Russian government’s online legislation database on Saturday, saying it entered into force from the day of its publication.

Russia’s move against American media is part of the fallout from allegations that Russia interfered in last year’s presidential election in favor of Donald Trump.

US intelligence officials have accused Kremlin of using Russian media organizations it finances to influence voters, and Washington has since required Russian state broadcaster RT (Russia Today) to register a U.S.-based affiliate company as a “foreign agent”.

The Kremlin has repeatedly denied meddling in the election and said the restrictions on Russian broadcasters in the United States are an attack on freedom of speech.

The Russian Justice Ministry last week published a list of nine American news outlets which could fall under new rules.

It said it had written to the government-sponsored Voice of America (VOA) and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), along with seven separate Russian or local-language news outlets run by RFE/RL.

Russian ‘foreign agent’ accused of ignoring law

“The criminal charges brought against activist Valentina Cherevatenko, a leader in the NGO “Union of Women of Don”, represent the first criminal case opened under the “foreign agents” law in Russia,” – says the  statement of the  European External Action service.

“The practice of declaring NGOs as “foreign agents” restricts civil society and impedes the exercise of fundamental freedoms.”

“Ms Cherevatenko’s outstanding work on human rights education, peace building, and humanitarian issues is well-known and widely appreciated” – the EEAS statement concludes.

Valentina Cherevatenko is the chairwoman of the coordinating council of the Union “Women of the Don”, as well as the chairman of the Board of the Foundation for the Promotion of Civil Society “Women of the Don”. The Union of Women of the Don, whose goals coincide with the goals of the Foundation, carries out peacekeeping initiatives in the North Caucasus, seeking “dialogue and promoting the idea of ​​tolerance for different strata of society,” and organizes social receptions where citizens are consulted on social and legal issues. In addition, the organization is actively involved in the protection of women’s rights in the region, focusing on violence against women and gender discrimination.

In Russia Cherevatenko came to public attention when brought bunch of flowers to Nadejda Savchenko in custody on the 8th of March International Women’s Day. The gesture was negatively perceived by Russian mass media, characterising it as ‘wreath to assassin”.

The chairman of the union “Women of the Don” Valentina Cherevatenko is accused of “malicious non-fulfillment” of the requirements of the law on foreign agents (Article 330.1 of the Criminal Code), Mediazone informs. This article foresees the punishment in the form of a fine of up to 300,000 rubles, correctional labor, or imprisonment for a period of two years.
“The investigation was conducted for a year. I do not admit my guilt absolutely. We defended ourselves and continue to defend ourselves. The cases are in the European Court,”- Cherevatenko said. She heads the coordinating council of the union “Women of the Don”, who collectively makes decisions, but the accusation is presented to her personally.
Union “Women of the Don” was included by the Russian Ministry of Justice in the register of foreign agents in 2014. Cherevatenko also heads the board of the same fund for the promotion of civil society and human rights, which was included in the register in 2015. The decisions were consistently appealed.