The Russian Ministry of Justice has included the head of the human rights group Agora Pavel Chikov and blogger Ilya Varlamov in the unified register of “foreign agents,” according to a statement on the ministry’s website.
Chikov, according to the Ministry of Justice, “distributed, including using modern information technologies, unreliable information about the decisions made by public authorities and their policies, participated in the creation and distribution of foreign agents’ materials for an unlimited circle of people.”
The entry into the register of “Varlamov’s foreign agents,” as the agency clarifies, is justified by the fact that the blogger “distributed false information about the decisions made by public authorities and their policies, received support from foreign sources.”
Also, the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation included the Tatar journalist and political scientist Ruslan Aisin, the former journalist of the Dozhd TV channel Bogdan Bakaleyko and the psychologist Svetlana Lada-Rus (Peunova) into the list of “foreign agents”.
The department has included the LGBTQA association “Boys Plus/Boys+” in the register of “foreign agents”. This organization, according to the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation, carried out “activity to promote LGBT relations, which is contrary to state policy to preserve and strengthen traditional Russian spiritual and moral values, as well as constitutional priorities in the field of protecting the family, motherhood and childhood.”
On December 1, 2022, the law “On Control over the Activities of Persons Under Foreign Influence” came into force in Russia. Now Russia has a unified register of “foreign agents”, and the Ministry of Justice will be able to include any Russian or foreign organizations or individuals in the register of “foreign agents” if they receive foreign support or are under foreign influence, and also conduct political activities or collect information about military-technical Russian activities that “can be used against the country’s security.”
In addition, according to the law, a register of those who are “affiliated” with “foreign agents” has appeared. They will be recognized as individuals who were or are currently members of the “foreign agent” organization. This list will include persons who receive or have received in the past money from a “foreign agent”, even through intermediaries. At the same time, “affiliated” persons will not be subject to the restrictions established for “foreign agents”.
In January, the Fund for the Protection of National Historical Heritage sent a proposal to the State Duma to confiscate the property of “foreign agents” in favor of the state for “discrediting” the Russian army. Fund director Alexander Karabanov said that the seizure of property from “foreign agents” and “discrediting” the Russian army will become “an effective filter against rash actions” for citizens who do not have a conscious position.
The lawyer about the new law in the Russian Federation, according to which everyone risks becoming a “foreign agent”:
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