CSO of the Week: OVD-Info designated a ‘foreign agent’ NGO

Week-ending 1 October 2021

Last week Civil Rights Defenders awarded OVD-Info the Civil Rights Defender of the Year Award. This week on 29 September the authorities designated OVD-Info as a ‘foreign agent’ NGO. Civil Rights Defenders deplored the move against OVD-Info, describing the designation as intended to bring about ‘severe setbacks’ in the work of OVD-Info. The authorities also designated the independent media outlet Mediazona as a ‘foreign agent’. The Committee for the Protection of Journalists called for Mediazona and OVD-INfo to be able to ‘work freely and without government harassment.’


The Moscow Times, 29 September 2021: Russia added the independent news site Mediazona and the police monitoring website OVD-Info to its registry of “foreign agents” Wednesday, amid what critics describe as a widening crackdown on independent voices in the country.

Civil Rights Defenders, 29 September 2021: In a coordinated attack on Russian civil society, a large number of organisations, individuals and media outlets have been labelled as ‘foreign agents’ today by Russian authorities. Among the targeted media outlets is the independent media and human rights project OVD-Info, recipient of the Civil Rights Defender of the Year Award 2021. Civil Rights Defenders expresses deep concern about the developments and condemns the authorities’ actions. As a foreign agent, OVD-Info now faces severe setbacks in their work.

CPJ, 30 September 2021: Russian authorities should allow the independent news outlets Mediazona and OVD-Info to work freely and without government harassment, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

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