Memorial: Russian human rights organisation fined under “foreign agents” law

Memorial: Russian human rights organisation fined under “foreign agents” law

8 December 2016

Russian human rights group Memorial International has fallen foul of Russia’s notorious “foreign agents” law, with the organisation now facing a fine.

The group was labelled a “foreign agent” in November by the Russian Ministry of Justice, which deemed Memorial to be involved in “political activity” in criticising the Russian government’s strict regulation of NGOs – this included decrying the use of the “foreign agent” label itself, interestingly enough.

The Interfax news agency reported yesterday that a Moscow court had fined Memorial 300,000 rubles ($4,740), for allegedly failing to register as a “foreign agent” and omitting to display the label on its publications. Memorial plans to appeal the verdict.

A Russian law passed in 2012 requires any organisation that receives funding from abroad and is engaged in “political activity” to register as a “foreign agent”. Under amendments to the law adopted in 2014, the authorities are able to forcibly register NGOs as “foreign agents”.

Source: The Moscow Times