Member of European Parliament, Urmas Paet, stated that the harassment of human rights organizations in Russia has become increasingly rough and leads to closing down human rights activities in Russia.
Today in Brussels Paet said that in the end of 2014 Russia’s Justice Ministry amended substantially the list of so called foreign agents, adding several remarkable organizations that deal with protection of human rights. “I proposed dealing with the issue in forthcoming European Parliament plenary session.”
“For example Andrei Sakharov Center, the Kaliningrad-based Human Rights Center, Anti-Discrimination Center Memorial in Saint-Petersburg and many others were added to the list. Sakharov Center was added to the list only few days after European Parliament had awarded the 2014 Sakharov human rights prize,” Paet added.
According to Paet the root of these steps lies in Russia’s authorities’ fear of their own people and society. “Otherwise human rights organizations would not be harassed and stalled.”
He added that European Union, including European Parliament, must clearly stand for the action of human rights organizations. Status of being a foreign agent in Russia is unfortunately a fast way to liquidation. For the moment over 20 organizations have been proclaimed to be foreign agents,” said Paet.