Russia said on Friday it was closing the local offices of 15 foreign nonprofit organizations – including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch – for violating Russian laws as the country continues to deny war crimes allegations during its invasion of Ukraine.
On Friday, the Russian Justice Ministry said it was revoking the registration of the 15 groups, thus ending their activities in the country, “due to the discovery of violations of the current legislation of the Russian Federation”, the ministry said, although it did not list any specific violations, according to Reuters.
Amnesty International – which has accused Russia of committing war crimes in Ukraine – said in a statement that it was “just the latest in a long list of organizations that have been punished for defending the human rights” and “having told the truth to the Russian authorities”.
The organization said it “must do something right” if the Kremlin is trying to “silence you”.
Other organizations targeted included the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, the Aga Khan Foundation and the Institute of International Education, according to Reuters.
“We will continue to defend the ability of independent journalism to report real facts, without interference from the Russian government. We will continue to work tirelessly to bring all those responsible for serious human rights violations, whether in Russia, Ukraine or Syria, to justice. Simply put, we will never give up,” Amnesty International said.
The move comes as international organizations and leaders – including President Joe Biden and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen – condemn a Russian missile strike on a train station in eastern Ukraine on Friday that left at least 50 dead as well as a massacre in the northwest. suburb of kyiv last week where the bodies of 410 civilians were discovered after Russian troops withdrew. Amnesty International, an international non-profit organization focused on human rights, as well as Human Rights Watch, have accused Russia of committing war crimes in Ukraine. Since the start of the war, Russia has intensified its efforts to suppress freedom of expression in the country, including last month blocking access to major foreign news outlets and punishing anyone spreading “false information”. ” on the war with up to 15 years in prison.
Russia revokes registration of Amnesty and Human Rights Watch (Reuters)
Death toll rises to at least 50 after Russia hit train station in eastern Ukraine, official says (Forbes)