April 24, 2013

Laws of Attrition

Crackdown on Russia’s Civil Society after Putin’s Return to the Presidency

Summary
Recommendations
To the Russian Government
To Russia’s International Partners, Particularly the United Nations, the Council of Europe, and European Union, and Other Concerned States
Methodology
I. Background
II. The “Foreign Agents” Law
Key Provisions
Scope
The “Foreign Agent” Concept
Registration of “Foreign Agents”
Additional Reporting Requirements
Additional Governmental Inspections and Oversight
Penalties
Suspension
Administrative and Criminal Liability
Controversy about Implementation
Sanctions against Organizations for Failing to Register as a “Foreign Agent”
NGOs Refuse to Register as Foreign Agents
Potential Impact on Freedom of Expression and Association
III. NGO Inspections
Inspections and Warnings: Mid-October 2012 – March 5, 2013
Soldiers’ Mothers of St. Petersburg and Others
March 2013: Inspection Campaign Gets Underway
Intimidation
Invasiveness
Outcome of Inspections
NGO Challenges to the Inspections
Golos
IV. Treason Law
Summary of Provisions
Potential Impact on Freedom of Expression and Association
Implementation
V. The “Dima Yakovlev Law”
Restrictions Relating to NGOs
Implications for Freedom of Association and Expression
Implementation
VI. Restrictions on Public Assemblies
Freedom of Assembly in Russia Prior to June 2012
Russia’s Legal Obligations on Freedom of Assembly
The June 2012 Amendments
Implementation of the Assembly Law
Impact on Freedom of Assembly
VII. Internet Content Restrictions
The Legislative Amendments of July 2012
Potential Impact on Freedom of Expression, Access to Information, and the Right to Privacy
Implementation
VIII. Other Elements of the Crackdown
Rhetoric against So-Called Foreign Influence
MASHR-Ingushetia
Komi Human Rights Commission “Memorial” (Syktyvkar)
Post-Election Protests: The “Bolotnaya” Case
The Pussy Riot Trial
IX. Russia’s International Legal Obligations
Acknowledgements