CSO of the Week: Nasiliu.net, a women’s rights organisation combating domestic violence designated a ‘foreign agent’ NGO

Week-ending 1 January 2020

On 29 December 2020 the Ministry of Justice designated the women’s rights organisation Nasiliu.net, (Насилию.нет) that combats violence against women, a ‘foreign agent’ NGO. Nasiliu.net is an NGO based in Moscow and provides psychological and legal assistance to victims of domestic violence. The Moscow Times reported the director of Nasiliu.net, Anna Rivina, as saying she believed the organisation had been added to the list of ‘foreign agents’ for supporting a bill that seeks to re-criminalize domestic violence and “5% [due to] LGBT propaganda.”‘ According to The Moscow Times, Rivina commented: “They made us very angry, so in 2021 we will do more and be louder, more transparent and more bold the further they go.”   


The Moscow Times, 30 December 2020: Russia has labeled prominent women’s rights organization Nasiliyu.net (“No to Violence”) as a “foreign agent,” the Justice Ministry announced Tuesday.  The Justice Ministry’s addition of the NGO, which provides legal and psychological help to domestic violence victims, to the “foreign agent” registry comes amid fears of a renewed crackdown on critical voices ahead of Russia’s 2021 legislative elections. Lawmakers pushed through controversial expansions to the “foreign agents” law last week which would allow any politically active, foreign-funded individual to be added to the list. 

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RFE/RL, 26 December 2020: The Russian Justice Ministry has expanded the list of so-called “foreign agents” to include a foundation of Kremlin critic Aleksei Navalny and other human rights and health-care organizations, the head of the international human rights group Agora said on December 25. Pavel Chikov said on Telegram that Navalny’s Foundation for the Protection of Citizens’ Rights was among those added to the list. The Justice Ministry at the same time refused to exclude Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) from it. Navalny announced the closure of the FBK in July after a court ordered the organization to pay 88 million rubles ($1.2 million) over a lawsuit filed by a food company associated with businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin, a close associate of Russian President Vladimir Putin. But FBK’s brand has survived although its texts, graphics, and other materials posted on its site now belong to the Foundation for the Protection of Citizens’ Rights, according to the FBK website.

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