Russia Labels Czech NGO ‘Undesirable’

Russian State Prosecutor's Office in Moscow.  

The Russian State Prosecutor’s Office has banned a Czech nongovernmental organization after putting it on the “undesirable” list.

Prosecutors said in a statement on June 29 that the Prague-based Spolecnost Svobody Informace, or Freedom of Information Society, “poses a threat to the foundations of the constitutional order and security of the Russian Federation.”

The "undesirable" organization law, adopted in May 2015 and since updated, was part of a series of regulations pushed by the Kremlin that squeezed many nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations that received funding from foreign sources — mainly from Europe and the United States.

The Czech group is the 36th foreign nongovernmental organization to be recognized as "undesirable" in Russia and the third operating from the Czech Republic.

Founded in 2015, the Freedom of Information Society’s mission is to conduct educational activities and help people whose rights to access information have been violated.

On June 28, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law a bill that expands the scope of the “undesirable” law to include criminalizing participation in the activities of foreign nongovernmental organizations recognized as such in Russia.

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