MOSCOW, June 1 (RAPSI) - Russia's Presidential Human Rights Council said Monday that a decision of the Justice Ministry to add Dynasty Foundation and Liberal Mission Foundation to the 'foreign agents' registry should be revoked by court.
The Council is also calling for immediate corrections or invalidating the NGO law.
The statement says that the directors of the foundations, Dmitry Zimin and Yevgeny Yasin, “are known to the world as true patriots of Russia who contributed not only their time but personal funds to the development of civic consciousness and Russian science. The foundations do not have any other financial sources despite being listed as foreign agents.”
Since November 2012, political NGOs funded from abroad were compelled by law to register as foreign agents. 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.
Since the very first day of this tentative and basically illegal law on so-called “foreign agents,” the Council has been insisting on corrections.
However, progress is very slow and the register now includes over 60 organizations, among which are dozens of NGOs involved in human rights protection, environmental and other social issues,” the Council’s statement reads.
Last week, the Ministry of Justice extended the foreign agent NGO list with the Dynasty foundation of VympelCom founder Dmitry Zimin and the Liberal Mission foundation. The measure was criticized by a number of human rights activists and experts. Last Friday, Minister of Justice Alexander Konovalov told RIA Novosti that there cannot be any mistake in the decision because it was preceded by a full inspection.