Moscow court confirms undesirable NGO label for U.S.-based Free Russia Foundation
MOSCOW, December 25 (RAPSI) – Moscow’s Tverskoy District Court dismissed a lawsuit filed by the non-government U.S.-based organization Free Russia Foundation against labeling it undesirable in Russia, the plaintiff’s lawyer Vadim Prokhorov told RAPSI on Wednesday.
The decision would be appealed, he added.
Defendants in the lawsuit are Russia’s Prosecutor General’s Office, Foreign Ministry and Justice Ministry.
In late June, the Prosecutor General’ s Office declared Free Russia Foundation undesirable in Russia. It was found that the NGO’s activity posed threat to the constitutional system’s foundations and national security, the press service of the Prosecutor General’ s Office reported.
The Prosecutor General’ s Office requested the Justice Ministry to add Free Russia Foundation, informing American policy makers on events in Russia, to the list of undesirable organizations.
The law stipulating that foreign NGOs can be put on "undesirable organizations" list if they are believed to be a threat to the Constitution, defense or security, came into effect on June 3, 2015. These organizations are to be prohibited from working and from circulating information materials in Russia, and their offices and branches are to be closed.
A decision to declare a foreign or international NGO an undesirable organization can be made or reversed by the Prosecutor General or his deputies, based on consultations with the Foreign Ministry. The Justice Ministry is authorized to compile and publish a list of non-grata organizations.
On March 28, 2017, President Vladimir Putin signed a law prohibiting "undesirable" NGOs from creating Russian legal entities.