Russia Labels Belgian Rights NGO 'Undesirable,' Effectively Banning It.

Russian authorities have effectively banned a Belgian nongovernmental organization after declaring it an “undesirable” organization amid a Kremlin clampdown on civil society.

The Prosecutor-General's Office said in a statement on August 13 that the International Partnership for Human Rights (IPHR) “poses a threat to the foundations of the constitutional order and security of the Russian Federation.”

There were no immediate comments from the Brussels-based group, which reports on human rights developments, mainly in countries in the former Soviet Union.

Dozens of foreign nongovernmental organizations have been recognized "undesirable" in Russia in recent months.

The "undesirable" organization law, adopted in May 2015 and since updated, was part of a series of regulations pushed by the Kremlin that squeezed many nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations that received funding from foreign sources -- mainly from Europe and the United States.

In June, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law a bill that expands the scope of the “undesirable” law to include criminalizing participation in the activities of foreign nongovernmental organizations recognized as such in Russia.

Also on August 13, Bloomberg cited a Russian Foreign Ministry official as saying that BBC journalist Sarah Rainsford had been ordered by Russian authorities to leave the country by the end of August.

A report by Russia's state-run Rossia-24 television channel described the move as retaliation against what it called Britain’s discrimination against Russian media.

The report did not give details.

With reporting by Rossia-24 and Bloomberg

Radio Free Europe

RFE/RL journalists report the news in 22 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established, including Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Russia.

https://www.rferl.org/

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