A Moscow court has upped the ante in the Russian government’s assault on independent civil society by refusing to overturn an order forcing a leading human rights organisation to register as a “foreign agent”.
In the spring of 2013 the Prosecutors Office ordered several Russian non-governmental organizations (NGOs), including the Human Rights Centre Memorial, Golos, Public Verdict and Jurix, which were in court today, to register as “foreign agents” under draconian new legislation introduced last year.
Today Memorial lost its case. The hearings in the cases of the other three NGOs, Public Verdict, Golos and Jurix have been postponed.
“The hearing was a grim farce. The court had the opportunity to uphold the right to freedom of association. Instead, it has helped the authorities put another nail in its coffin,” said Sergei Nikitin, Amnesty International’s Moscow Office Director.