Law on NGOs-foreign agents must be nullified, not elaborated – Memorial head

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Interfax – MOSCOW, June 14, 2013) Head of a leading non-governmental organization (NGO) in Russia, the Historical, Enlightenment and Human Rights Society Memorial, Arseny Roginsky, said he did not see any sense in elaborating the law obliging NGOs with foreign financing to register as foreign agents.

“It is impossible to elaborate this law. It violates the right on freedom of association and equality of these associations before the law. This law violates the Constitution and various international obligations of Russia,” Roginsky told Interfax on Friday.

“Ideally, this law must be nullified of course,” he said.

“But first of all, requests of prosecutor’s office sent to over 20 NGOs demanding them to register as foreign agents should be cancelled,” Roginsky said.

Memorial is in particular involved in a program of rehabilitation of victims of Stalin’s repressions. The Memorial Society comprises the Memorial Center, which follows the human rights situation in North Caucasus.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday at a meeting with representatives of the Civil 20 that the practice of applying the law on NGOs – foreign agents was to be analyzed and elaborating it could be considered.