Russian court shuts down charity foundation labeled 'foreign agent'
MOSCOW, December 13 (RAPSI, Diana Gutsul) – A court in Chelyabinsk sided with the Ministry of Justice and ordered charity foundation 'For nature' that had been designated as a 'foreign agent' to be shut down, Andrey Lepekhin, lawyer for the foundation, told RAPSI on Tuesday.
Ministry of Justice added the foundation to the list of 'foreign agents' in March 2015. Besides, the foundation was blamed for its alleged failure to provide requested documents, problems with the registration address, Lepekhin said.
The federal law was adopted in November 2012 that requires NGOs engaged in political activity and receiving foreign funding to register as 'foreign agents'.
The law was harshly criticized by Russian and foreign experts for its loose definition of what constitutes “political activity.”
The Ministry of Justice said in January that political activity should be linked to such fields as state-building, securing Russia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, enforcement of law, order and security, national defense, foreign policy, political system integrity, social and economic and national development of the country, regulation of rights and freedoms of man and citizen.
NGOs which are engaged in organization and holding of public events, including meetings, manifestations, demonstrations, discussions and performances should be deemed to be involved in political activity.
Moreover, those NGOs which are involved in work aimed at achieving certain results during elections or referendum, vote monitoring practices, establishment of election commissions or support of political parties should also be put on the list of those organizations which are engaged in political activity, according to the Ministry of Justice.