Norway must address NGO liquidation in Russia
The Norwegian Helsinki Committee and the Rafto Foundation have sent a letter to Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende in connection with the court liquidation of the human rights organization Agora last week.
The organisations are concerned that the treatment of 2014 Rafto laureate Agora is only the first in a row of further restrictions to the lawful and necessary work of human rights organisations in the Russian Federation.
It is hardly a coincidence that the crackdown on civil society intensifies just a few months before Parliamentary Elections is scheduled to take place, the organisations warn, and urge Norway to again raise this issue with Russian counterparts.
Despite increasing pressure, the activists do not give up.
Norway and other democratic states should stand by the activists. They need support. The democratic world should state clearly that what Russian authorities do is unacceptable. The precarious situation for human rights defenders in Russia should be highlighted publicly, and in particular in the framework of the UN Human Rights Council, the letter concludes.