European Parliament condemns Russian clampdown on NGOs

In a resolution adopted last week, the European Parliament strongly condemned the intensified clampdown on Russian civil society.

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The resolution specifically addresses the recent actions to dissolve the 2009 Sakharov Prize winning Human Rights organisation Memorial.

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Furthermore, it condemns the strengthened Foreign Agents Law.

In June 2014, Putin signed amendments to the law which allow the Ministry of Justice to register NGOs as “foreign agents” at their own discretion, without the organisations’ consent.

Organisations with this label, will be subjected to additional scrutiny by the government.

Under this law, hundreds of NGOs have been targeted, among which many organisations working on LGBTI rights.

Vice-President of the Intergroup-designate on LGBTI Rights Dennis de Jong MEP, reacted: “LGBT people, and those who defend their rights, are under threat through legal efforts attempting to curtail their rights, as well as an increasingly homophobic climate in which violence against LGBT people goes unpunished.”

“Russia needs to be held accountable on these issues. I urge the European Commission and the External Action Service to continue raising these discriminatory and suppressive laws in their relations with Russia, to make sure that freedom of organisation for LGBT people is taken seriously.”

Vice-President of the Intergroup-designate on LGBTI Rights, Tanja Fajon MEP, added: “Organisations defending the rights of LGBT people are under attack in Russia, both by the Foreign Agents Law and the Anti-Propaganda Law.”

“For this reason, it is absurd that the ECR sought to delete just the reference to LGBTI activists in its text. This shows how out of touch their group has become with the real world. Thankfully, a reasonable majority voted to keep LGBTI activists in the resolution.”

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