Sun, 08 Dec 2019

The Czech NGO People In Need has become the latest foreign group Russia's Justice Ministry has placed on its blacklist of "undesirable" organizations.

The move was based on a November 7 decision by the Russian deputy prosecutor-general.

The ministry did not specify what the Czech disaster relief, advocacy, and human rights group did to violate the "fundamental human rights and freedoms, the rights and freedoms of Russian Federation citizens.'

Founded in 1992, People In Need is the 19th organization to be blacklisted since Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the "undesirable" law in 2015.

The law has been criticized by human rights watchdogs who have said it would "bolster an ongoing draconian crackdown which is squeezing the life out of civil society" in Russia.

It is not clear how the law's provisions will be applied to the Czech nonprofit.

According to the group's website, People In Need strives to "inspire a largeness of spirit in Czech society by helping others in need, and to promote democratic freedom for all.'

Other groups blacklisted include the Atlantic Council, a Washington-based think tank known for taking a critical stance on Russia's human rights abuses, its treatment of Ukraine, and widespread public and political corruption.

The diaspora umbrella group, the Ukrainian World Congress; the National Endowment for Democracy; and the German Marshal Fund of the United States are also on the Russian list.

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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