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


Concern As Russia Orders NGO to Register As ‘Foreign Agent’

UN Rights Body Voices Concern As Russia Orders NGO to Register As ‘Foreign Agent’

New York, Dec 23 2013 - A United Nations human rights body voiced grave concern today after a court in Russia ordered a non-governmental organization (NGO) that had provided the panel with information to register as a “foreign agent.”

A court in St. Petersburg ruled earlier this month that the Anti-Discrimination Centre Memorial was engaged in political activity and was therefore in breach of legislation which stipulates that politically active non-profit groups must register as “foreign agents” if they receive money from abroad.

The UN Committee against Torture said in a news release it was disturbed that prosecutors, as part of their civil lawsuit against Memorial, had referred to a report on police abuse of Roma and migrants submitted by the group for the Committee’s review of Russia in November 2012.

“Russia is a State Party to the Convention against Torture and as such should ensure that no group faces prosecution for communicating with or providing information to the Committee,” said George Tugushi, the Committee’s rapporteur on reprisals.

Under the Convention, “Steps shall be taken to ensure that the complainant and witnesses are protected against all ill-treatment or intimidation as a consequence of his complaint or any evidence given,” Mr. Tugushi noted.

Prosecutors brought similar charges against the NGO in April, but lost that case.

The Committee had previously called on the Russian authorities to ensure that Memorial and other NGOs would not face reprisals as a result of their legitimate activities, including providing information to the 10-member Committee which meets in Geneva.

Committee Chairperson Claudio Grossman said the expert body is concerned with any measure that undermines the independence and activities of NGOs. “The actions by the Russian prosecutors against Memorial reflect a worrying shift in the legislative environment governing the enjoyment of the freedoms of assembly, association, speech and information.”

During its November 2012 review of Russia’s implementation of the Convention, the Committee urged the country to ensure no individual or group would be subjected to prosecution for communicating with or giving information to the Committee or other UN human rights bodies.

For more details go to UN News Centre at


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Whaling: Japan’s Institute for Cetacean Research In Defiance Of World Court Ruling

The ICR Today Filed Court Briefs Stating They Intend to Return to Antarctica to Hunt Whales in 2015-2016; Will Seek to Enjoin Other Sea Shepherd Entities from Obstructing Their Operations More>>

Ukraine: UN Urges 'Maximum Restraint' Amid Situation In East Ukraine

Deeply concerned by the deteriorating situation in eastern Ukraine, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called for maximum restraint and appealed to all sides to work towards calming the situation, which has the 'growing potential' to ... More>>

United Nations: Children Can Now Lodge Complaints With The UN

GENEVA (14 April 2014) – United Nations child rights experts have hailed a new treaty that allows children to complain directly to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child about alleged violations of their rights. More>>

India: Election But A Ritual In Nation Lacking Rule Of Law

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) congratulates the people of India for their participation to elect the 16th Lok Sabha. The process has attracted, as usual, considerable media attention across the world. Media claims the process to be 'the largest democratic ... More>>

Solomon Islands: Thousands Remain Affected After Flash Floods

An estimated 52,000 people remain affected in the worst-hit areas of Honiara and greater Guadalcanal following last week’s devastating floods which killed at least 23 people. More>>


World: Some 437,000 People Murdered Worldwide In 2012 - UN

Almost half a million people across the world lost their lives in 2012 as a result of intentional homicide, with the highest murder rates logged in the Americas and Africa, and the lowest in Europe, Asia and Oceania, the United Nations Office on ... More>>

Central African Republic:: Security Council Establishes UN Peacekeeping Mission

Deeply concerned about the deteriorating security situation and ongoing human rights abuses in the Central African Republic (CAR), the Security Council today approved the establishment of a nearly 12,000-strong United Nations peacekeeping operation ... More>>


Parliament: NZ Sending Aid Flight To Solomons

Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully has announced further support for the response to severe flooding in Solomon Islands. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news