World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Russian Federation: New law stifles civil society

Russian Federation: New law stifles independent civil society

Amnesty International regrets that President Putin has signed into law the controversial amendments to laws governing civil society organizations in Russia. The law was published by the official government newspaper Rossiiskaia gazeta on 17 January 2006 and will come into force in three months’ time.

“Amnesty International does not oppose efforts to ensure transparency and accountability of civil society organizations. However, this law gives excessive powers of scrutiny and discretion to the authorities in monitoring organizations and making decisions on their registration and closure,” said Nicola Duckworth, Director of the Europe and Central Asia Programme.

“These increased powers of scrutiny could be abused.”

Despite the law going through amendments in response to domestic and international outcry, it still contains provisions which raise serious concerns about freedom of association in Russia. Many provisions have failed to take account of criticisms of the proposals made by a Council of Europe expert. Provisions the expert found “disproportionate”, “too restrictive”, and “vague” to be in line with international standards have remained in the law.

For example, the authorities will be able to deny registration to civil society organizations if the organization’s name “offends public decency or ethnic and religious feelings”. They will also have unlimited power to send representatives to any event organized by Russian and foreign civil society organizations, without necessarily having reasonable grounds to believe Russian law is being breached. They will also have unprecedented powers of scrutiny of sources of funding, as well as planned and actual spending.

“Civil society organizations across the board -- working on areas as diverse as the environment, education and human rights -- will be hampered in their work. Russia should be encouraging their civil society sector, not stifling it," said Nicola Duckworth, Director of the Europe and Central Asia Programme.

This is not a political issue, nor a question of interference in Russia’s internal affairs. Russia must respect its legal obligations under international human rights standards which it has signed up to.”

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>


Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news