Old Saint Basil's Cathedral in MoscowJohnson's Russia List title and scenes of Saint Petersburg
Excerpts from the JRL E-Mail Community :: Founded and Edited by David Johnson
#4 - JRL 2006-16 - JRL Home
Russia: Human Rights, Environmental Organizations Not Changing Stance On NGO Law

MOSCOW. Jan 17 (Interfax) - Russian human rights and environmental protection organizations have not changed their negative assessment of the Law on Non-Governmental and Non-Profit Organizations.

The draft law was approved in parliament in December and was published by Rossiiskaya Gazeta on Tuesday. The law takes effect 90 days following its official publication.

"We shall fight to amend or annul this law. The law has been passed, but this does not mean it will exist forever," Moscow Helsinki Group Chairman Lyudmila Alexeyeva told Interfax.

The law on non-governmental organizations will slow the development of civil society in Russia, she said, adding that the Helsinki Group will file a complaint with the Constitutional Court.

This position is shared by Director of the World Wildlife Fund's Russian branch, member of the Russian Public Chamber Igor Chestin.

"This is another element of the struggle against civil society," he said.

The Law on Non-governmental Organizations "creates a host of additional administrative barriers. "If the law is not softened at governmental level, the consequences will be very serious," he said.