Calling on Russia: Respect civil society and rights, say regional TI chapters

Heads of chapters from the Europe and Central Asia region met during Transparency International's Annual Membership Meeting and adopted a statement on the Russian Federation, following the three newly adopted laws that increasingly threaten civil society.

Transparency International Chapters from the Europe and Central Asia region call on the Russian Federation to respect international standards regarding human rights and freedom of civil society

We, Transparency International Chapters of the region, consider it to be a violation of human rights that the newly adopted law in the Russian Federation (№139314-5) states that submission of information to international organisations or to international NGOs could be considered as potential high treason and punishable by 12 to 20 years of imprisonment. With this adopted law, the Russian Federation breaches the European Convention on the Recognition of the Legal Personality of International Non-Governmental Organisations, the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC resolution 31/1996), the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (article 13), and the European Convention on Human Rights (article 10 and article 13).

The additional burden on NGOs to register as “agents of foreign influence” according to the law (No 121 of July 20th, 2012) coming into force on 21 November represents a grave violation of freedom of association. It also implies de facto the abolition of the role of civil society. This law will apply to all NGOs if they receive foreign funding for civil society work and submit public policy proposals in Russia.

This above mentioned legal requirement for NGOs violates the international conventions and treaties which the Russian Federation signed and which stipulate cooperation with civil society in implementing and compliance monitoring.

Additionally, the new legislative framework adopted through Government Decision No. 1101/26.10.2012 in the Russian Federation, through which the Government is allowed to censure websites without a court decision, is a serious violation of the right to freedom of expression provided by the European Convention on Human Rights adopted by the Council of Europe.

Seeing these serious shortfalls in democracy and human rights, we, the signatories, demand the Russian authorities to respect their international commitments, to change their policy with regard to freedom of expression and association in order to demonstrate that the Russian Federation is in fact a credible and honest partner in signing and enforcing the relevant international treaties and commitments.

We request therefore that the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe take notice of this statement, draw up a report on the new Russian legislative framework, to present it to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, in order to inform all other signatory parties to the Convention.

We also call on participating States of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe to launch a report on the human rights situation in the Russian Federation with the help of the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, under the OSCE Moscow Mechanism.

The statement is adopted by Transparency International’s Europe and Central Asia regional meeting

For any press enquiries please contact press@transparency.org

Latest

Support Transparency International

On trial for corruption: Teodoro Obiang, son of the president of Equatorial Guinea

In the first case brought by civil society in France, Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, the son of the president of Equatorial Guinea, is on trial for corruption.

Corruption Reporting Award: Honouring investigative journalism

For the third year Transparency International has sponsored the Corruption Reporting Award as part of the One World Media Awards. Check out this year's winner, Stealing Paradise, a shocking investigation into corruption, intimidation and the sale of idyllic islands in the Maldives.

Glass quarter full? The state of global anti-money laundering in four charts

Out of the hundreds of commitments governments have made to fight corruption and money laundering, one of the easiest to keep track of is to implement the global anti-money laundering standards.

Ukraine takes important first step towards ending corporate secrecy

Ukraine has taken a first step in the fight against corporate secrecy and corruption by agreeing to share data on who ultimately owns and controls Ukrainian companies.

Who doesn’t know the Cayman Islands is a great place to hide money? The Cayman Islands

In May, the Cayman Islands government quietly released a report that just about acknowledges the country's deficiencies at thwarting money laundering.

Your ideas welcome: help us set higher standards in state-owned companies

We need your help to draw up principles for fighting corruption in state-owned enterprises. Please share your ideas!

Brazil: Open data just made investigating corruption easier

All of the official documentation of from Brazil’s biggest corruption scandal – Operation Car Wash or Lava Jato – is now available to search easily online.

Social Media

Follow us on Social Media

Would you like to know more?

Sign up to stay informed about corruption news and our work around the world