ECHR accepts complaint by Russian immigration-focused NGO over “foreign agent” law
MOSCOW, February 26 (RAPSI) - The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has accepted a complaint filed by the fund “Immigration XXI century”, a non-profit organization from Russia dealing with immigration problems, RIA Novosti reported on Friday citing lawyer Ilnur Sharapov.
According to the lawyer, the application was registered by the court.
The fund, headed by former deputy of the Federal Migration Service Vyacheslav Postavnin, asks to find the “foreign agents law” violating the rights granting freedom of expression (Article 10), freedom of assembly (Article 11), violating prohibition of discrimination (Article 14), granted by the European Convention of Human Rights.
The fund postulates that “foreign agent” label has a negative connotation in the society and is synonymous with such terms as “enemy”, “traitor” and “spy”.
The plaintiff also states that the term “political activity” is defined incorrectly.
Earlier, the fund was fined by a court 300,000 rubles ($ 3,900) for refusal to register as a “foreign agent”. Later this fine was cut in half while the Ministry of Justice included the NGO into the corresponding list.
A federal law adopted in November 2012 requires that all NGOs engaged in political activity and receiving foreign funding register as “foreign agents” or face fines.
In June 2013, the Justice Ministry was granted authority to classify NGOs as foreign agents at its own discretion and included a number of organizations in its register.
In February 2013, 11 Russian NGOs lodged a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) protesting against the law.
In November 2014, Putin endorsed Human Rights Commissioner Ella Pamfilova’s proposal to develop a procedure for taking NGOs off the list of foreign agents if they stop receiving funding from abroad.