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President's Statement on changes to Russia's law on NGOs

19 Jul 2012
Ref: 050 2012

A new Russian law on NGOs is a clear breach of fundamental freedoms and a sign of unequal treatment, says Staffan Nilsson, President of the European Economic and Social Committee, the EU advisory body representing Europe's organised civil society. 


I am extremely concerned at the changes to Russia's law on NGOs that have recently been adopted by the State Duma despite protests from Russian NGOs and an unfavourable opinion from the Russian Council on Human Rights and the Development of Civil Society. 


This draft law is a clear breach of fundamental freedoms and a sign of unequal treatment. It will limit civil society organisations' access to support from international donors, thus hampering their operations and activities as well as their involvement in cooperation and exchanges with other international NGOs. Furthermore, this law does not reflect any international practice or legislation as regards the right to association in civil society.

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