Russian NGO opts to be registered as "foreign agent"
MOSCOW, December 21 - RAPSI. In accordance with a controversial law passed this year designating NGOs that receive foreign funding as "foreign agents," human rights NGO Shchit I Mech (Shield and Sword) has voluntarily filed with the Ministry of Justice to be included in the foreign agent registry, according to a Kommersant report.
The organization reasoned that this way it could study the new law from inside, thus allowing it to devise a strategy that could help other similarly situated NGOs to avoid shutting down.
Shield and Sword head Alexei Glukhov said that the organization fully corresponds to the requirements of the law on foreign agents, and its inclusion in the Justice Ministry's registry.
"We are combating tortures, violations made by state authorities. We get funds from the Agora organization, supported by international fund Internews," Glukhov said.
The Justice Ministry said that it received no applications from Shield and Sword and other organizations.
The law, which was adopted by the State Duma in its spring session, took effect in late November. Pursuant to the law, upon registering, NGOs with "foreign agent" status will be subject to different legal regulations. These regulations will stipulate a heightened level of accountability and increased likelihood of audits.