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8 Apr, 2022 21:40

Russia bans Western NGOs

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch are among the shuttered Russian branches of US, UK, German and Polish NGOs
Russia bans Western NGOs

Russia has ordered shut more than a dozen local branches of nonprofits, foundations and other NGOs based in the West, saying they have violated Russian law.

Among the organizations affected are Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the Carnegie Foundation for International Peace, and several German and Polish NGOs.

The Justice Ministry in Moscow announced on Friday that it will be removing from the registry fifteen Russian branches of organizations based in the US, UK, Germany, and Poland, citing “identified violations of Russian law.”

Russia’s ban applies to branches of the UK-based Amnesty International Ltd, the US-based Carnegie Foundation for International Peace, Human Rights Watch Inc, and the Institute for International Education. Russian branches of the Swiss-based Aga Khan Foundation and the Polish NGO Wspólnota Polska were likewise shuttered.

Most of the banned NGOs are German, however, including the foundations named after Friedrich Naumann, Friedrich Ebert, Konrad Adenauer, Hanns Seidel, Heinrich Boell, and Rosa Luxemburg – as well as the German Research Foundation offices in Russia.

Amnesty International claimed on Thursday that Russia engaged in “extrajudicial executions and other unlawful killings” in Ukraine that need to be investigated as war crimes. Russia has rejected these accusations, which originated with the Ukrainian government, insisting that its ongoing military operation in Ukraine is not targeting civilians.

Meanwhile, US Senators Rick Scott (R-Florida) and Mike Braun (R-Indiana) have proposed a bill that would block any taxpayer funding to Amnesty International (AI), accusing the group of “false, antisemitic reports attacking Israel, America's strongest ally in the Middle East.”

The two senators said AI has received more than $2.5 million from the US government over the past 20 years alone.