Human Rights Council head criticizes draft law on non-profit organizations
MOSCOW, July 3 - RAPSI. Presidential Human Rights Council Chairman Mikhail Fedotov does not support the draft law assigning certain Russian non-profit organizations a foreign agent status.
Fedotov hopes he will have time to meet with President Vladimir Putin before the draft law is discussed in Parliament on July 6.
The proposed changes to the non-profit organizations law grant a foreign agent status to not-for-profit politically focused organizations which receive foreign financing.
In particular, the amendments outline criminal penalties for failing to submit the necessary documents to include the organization in the register of non-profit organizations acting as foreign agents.
Violators will be fined up to 300,000 rubles ($9,117), or the value of the convicted person's salary, or punished by up to 480 hours of corrective labor, or up to two years in prison.
Large fines and prison terms up to three years will be in store for those who call on people to evade their civic duties or commit other unlawful acts. The punishment will apply to both leaders and rank-and-file members.
The Russian government is in support of the draft law, according to the report on the proposal signed by Deputy Prime Minister Vladislav Surkov.
The Supreme Court also does not object to the bill and only proposes to amend some provisions of the Criminal Code.
Head of the Moscow Helsinki Group Lyudmila Alexeyeva believes that the draft law may affect all human rights organizations. In a previous statement she said that she does not consider her organization as a foreign agent, since all the money it receives is spent not in the interests of foreign states, but for the protection of Russian citizens' rights.
Alexeyeva is going to ask the Russian president to put a veto on the draft law if it is adopted by parliament.
Fedotov said that he supports Alexeyeva's proposed actions. "We need to do all we can to stop the draft law," said he.
The International Foundation for Socio-Economic and Political Studies (The Gorbachev Foundation) may also be granted a foreign agent status, according to Izvestia newspaper.