MOSCOW, December 27 (RAPSI) – Russia’s Federal Drug Control Service has drafted a law to suspend the operation of the NGOs that accept funding from foreigners with a criminal record and are on the list of persons who are denied entry into Russia, Izvestia newspaper reported Friday.
NGOs will be obliged to remedy violations, if any, or face closure by a court decision, the daily writes.
The bill is designed to amend the law on measures to be applied to persons involved in the transnational trafficking of drugs and psychotropic substances. It reads that a list of foreigners with drug penalties and foreign officials who helped release drug dealers should be compiled.
“This bill is aimed at restricting the entry of foreign nationals involved in the drug trade. One of its provisions sets limitations for the funding of Russian NGOs by foreigners on this black list,” said Vladimir Sinelshchikov, deputy head of the Russian drug enforcement agency’s PR and media department.
The Justice Ministry will be responsible for suspending NGOs’ operation and their subsequent liquidation.
A federal law passed last November requires that all NGOs engaged in political activity and receiving finance from abroad register as “foreign agents” or face fines of up to 500,000 rubles (over $15,300). In February, 11 Russian NGOs, including Moscow Helsinki Group, lodged a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) protesting the law.
Inspections of NGOs began in late March 2013, with the Justice Ministry claiming that the goal was to check that these organizations’ activities comply with the objectives of their charters and the Russian legislation. Up to 2,000 rights groups and NGOs in Russia have been raided by prosecutors and other officials, according to some estimates.