The Russian government has branded five prominent independent groups as “foreign agents.” The government’s actions are part of its biggest crackdown on the rights to free expression and association in Russia since the end of the Soviet era.
In early March 2013 the Russian government launched an unprecedented, nationwide campaign of inspections of thousands of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to identify advocacy groups the government deems “foreign agents” and force them to register as such. This list tracks the legal consequences of the law on dozens of NGOs.
Russian authorities should immediately free Ruslan Kutaev, the head of an independent Chechen group. Kutaev was arrested on February 20, 2014, on politically motivated drug charges. Russian authorities should drop the charges against him and ensure that the investigation into allegations that police tortured him is effective.
A leading Russian human rights activist was attacked on the street on July 1, 2014, in Voronezh, southern Russia. Police should immediately open a thorough investigation into the assault on Andrey Yurov, one of several incidents in which unidentified assailants have recently attacked or harassed activists in various Russian regions.
Russia’s anti-gay “propaganda” law has served as a tool for anti-gay discrimination in the year since it entered into force, even though Russian authorities have fined only four people for violating it.