The Russian Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation announced Friday that it has revoked the registration of 15 representative offices of international organizations and foreign NGOs, including that of Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
This happened one day after Russia was suspended from The United Nation’s Human Rights Council.
In response to the expulsion, Amnesty International said that Moscow is “effectively closing it down.” Russia’s media regulator previously blocked access to Amnesty International’s Russian-language website on March 11.
“Amnesty’s closing down in Russia is only the latest in a long list of organizations that have been punished for defending human rights and speaking the truth to the Russian authorities,” said Agnès Callamard, secretary general of Amnesty International.
“In a country where scores of activists and dissidents have been imprisoned, killed or exiled, where independent media has been smeared, blocked or forced to self-censor, and where civil society organizations have been outlawed or liquidated, you must be doing something right if the Kremlin tries to shut you up,” Callamard added.
“HRW has been working on Russia since the Soviet era, when it was a closed totalitarian state,” Human Rights Watch tweeted on Friday. “We found ways of documenting human rights abuses then, and we will do so in the future.”
HRW said that Russia did not give explanations of specific violations but said that the decision was likely linked to the group’s recent reporting on human rights in Russian-occupied regions of Ukraine.
Reuters reported that three of the groups are U.S.-based, nine are from Germany, along with one each from Britain, Poland and Switzerland.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: FORBES