Gernot Erler, Coordinator for Intersocietal Cooperation with Russia, Central Asia and the Eastern Partnership Countries, commented today (21 December 2016) on the judicial confirmation of the decision to list the NGO Memorial International as a “foreign agent”:
The ruling by the court in Moscow to uphold the stigmatisation of the umbrella organisation of the NGO Memorial International as a “foreign agent” is totally incomprehensible. Both in Russia and internationally, Memorial stands for an especially constructive contribution by civil society to the cross-border promotion of democracy and tolerance. Particularly at a time of political tensions, this should be commended rather than condemned.
I expect the Russian Government to work to ensure that committed citizens are able to enjoy in full the rights to freedom of opinion and assembly guaranteed to them in the Russian constitution.