Russia's veteran rights camaigner and leader of the Moscow Helsinki Group Lyudmila Alexeyeva has fears that the law on objectionable organizations will impact the work of the Russian representative offices of the rights organizations Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International.
"Too bad the law has been signed already," Alexeyeva told Interfax on Sunday.
"I am sure the law targets organizations that are not covered yet by the law on foreign agents. I hope the International Committee of the Red Cross will not be affected. It is a very quiet organization. As to Human Rights Watch, or Amnesty International, one of their duties is that of monitoring the observance of citizens' rights and liberties, and they often release critical reports which annoy many," Alexeyeva said.
The law on objectionable foreign organizations may also impact Russian nongovernmental organizations that cooperate with foreign rights organizations, she said.
"This law is, in my opinion, a fresh step to move the curtain down between our country and the West," she said.
It emerged on Saturday evening that a law on objectionable foreign and international organizations had been signed in Russia.
A foreign or international nongovernmental organization may be rated as "objectionable" if it is a threat to the fundamental principles of Russia's constitutional system and to the country's defense capability and national security.
The law gives the prosecutor-general and his deputies the right to ban objectionable organizations' programs and projects in Russia. This must only be done by agreement with the Foreign Ministry.
"The law may be applied to close the representative office of any international organization. But, I am sure, this law has nothing to do with us, or Human Rights Watch. It is spearheaded against Russian activists and Russian civil groups. Its goal is to cut them off from international partners," Human Rights Watch's director for Russia Tatyana Lokshina told Interfax a few days ago.
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