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Russian human rights ombudswoman criticizes new law on "undesirable organizations"

May 26, 2015, 9:55 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Ella Pamfilova noted that the law did not even provide for a possibility to challenge an "undesired" status in court

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Russia’s human rights ombudswoman Ella Pamfilova

Russia’s human rights ombudswoman Ella Pamfilova

© Mikhail Metzel/ TASS

MOSCOW, May 25. /TASS/. Russia’s human rights ombudswoman Ella Pamfilova has voiced criticism of the newly adopted law on the so-called "undesirable organizations as lacking clear legal criteria of "undesirability."

"There are no clear legal criteria of the "undesired" status for a foreign or international organization in Russia. It [the law] provides no legal grounds to recognize such an organization as threatening constitutional fundamentals of the Russian Federation, its security and defence," Pamfilova wrote in a document published on her official website on Monday.

Apart from that, she noted that the law did not even provide for a possibility to challenge an "undesired" status in court, which fact violated the constitutional right to court defence (parts 1 and 2 of article 46 of the Russian constitution).

"Thus, federal law number 129-FZ on amendments to certain legal acts of the Russian Federation dated 23.05.2015 causes serious concern of the Russian human rights envoy as running counter to the constitution," she concluded.

The law that was signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin on May 23 says that a foreign or international, but only non-governmental (NGO), organization can be recognized as undesirable if it "poses a threat to fundamentals of the constitutional system of the Russian Federation, to the country’s defence capacity and security." A decision to this effect is passed by Russia’s prosecutor general or his deputies in coordination with the Russian Foreign Ministry. The Ministry of Justice is to be in charge of making up lists of ‘undesirable organizations’ and of publishing them.

The law imposes, in particular, a ban on activities, setting up and opening of structural subdivisions of an ‘undesirable organization’ in the Russian Federation and distribution of its information materials.

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