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Joint statement calling for end to Russian crack-down on civil society
A summit between the European Union and Russia is due to take place this week in Brussels on 21 December. In response a collection of international civil society organisations, including Front Line Defenders, have released a joint statement calling upon European leaders to join them in urging Russian President Vladimir Putin to repeal a series of new laws 'significantly hindering the operation of national non-governmental organisations (NGOs) as well as international NGOs supporting them'
The statement gives a full listing of these new laws which include a new definition of treason which it is believed could 'potentially criminalise human rights and political activism' and the registration of NGOs who receive funding from foreign organisations as 'foreign agents' which as noted in the statement is a 'pejorative label signifying spy and traitor'.
The statement ends with a call from the organisations for the EU to use the summit to ensure that President Putin will 'bring its laws into line with Russia’s international obligations and rights guaranteed under the Russian Constitution, repeal restrictive new laws and guarantee a safe environment for civil society'.
The full statement including the full list of signatories can be found attached in PDF format to this page.