Many NGOs being removed from the ‘foreign agents’ register

Human Rights Committee expects a significant decrease in ‘foreign agents’
The Presidential Council will soon hold a meeting with the First Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration Sergei Kirienko.
The Presidential Administration’s working group has put together a list of 33 non-profit organisations which have the right to apply for removal from the ‘foreign agents’ register, reports Kommersant. The fate of these NGOs will be decided at a meeting between members of the Presidential Council for the Development of Civil Society and Human Rights and Sergei Kirienko.
The president had instructed Kirienko to analyse the enforcement of the ‘foreign agents’ law by 30 March 2017. HRC members did not participate in the working group for this study. The Presidential Council gave Kirienko its recommendations on revision of the grounds for entry into the register, the chair of the HRC Commission on the Development of NGOs, Natalia Evdokimova told the publication. Using criteria suggested by human rights defenders, the working group drew up a list of ‘foreign agents’ eligible to apply for removal from the register.
HRC head Mikhail Fedotov notes that the register recently decreased by more than 50 NGOs. The expert welcomes the improvements to the register on the Ministry of Justice’s website: information on the NGOs which managed to exit the register has been removed from the list of ‘agents’.
In December 2016 Kirienko stated that he considered it possible to reform the ‘foreign agents’ law. Today the Presidential Council notes that a change to the legislation will not become the aim of the working group’s activities. The HRC reports that, according to Kirienko, “a change in the law is currently unrealistic”.

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