Viasna protests dissolution of Agora NGO in Russia
Minsk – 12 February 2016
The Human Rights Center "Viasna" expresses its protest against a court order to close down a known Russian human rights organization Agora.
On February 10, the Supreme Court of Tatarstan ruled to dissolve the Association of Human Rights Organizations Agora in response to a suit by Russia’s Ministry of Justice. The decision refers to “repeated or gross violation of laws or regulations.” The key ‘violation’ committed by the NGO was the refusal to label its products with the humiliating stigma of a ‘foreign agent’.
Agora is one of the most famous and effective human rights organizations in Russia, dealing with the protection of victims of illegal actions by the government, including police-related torture.
The Human Rights Center "Viasna" notes that the court decision to liquidate the human rights organization Agora has nothing to do with the permissible restrictions on freedom of association contained in international standards of law in the field of human rights, namely the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights, and is nothing but an outrage against freedom of association and ongoing harassment of human rights organizations involved in the protection of the rights of others.
The Human Rights Center "Viasna" expresses its protest against the liquidation of the Association Agora and views this move of the Russian government as another attack on the country’s human rights community and a purposeful policy of marginalization of human rights defenders.
We express our solidarity with our Russian colleagues and urge the government of the Russian Federation to immediately put an end to the harassment of this respected human rights organization and urgently restore its registration.
Board of the Human Rights Center "Viasna"