Greenpeace Declared ‘Undesirable Organization’ In Russia, Faces Forced Shutdown
Russia declared Greenpeace, the well-known environmental NGO, “undesirable” on Friday, a decision that bans its activities in the nation in the middle of a crackdown on critical voices since the Kremlin’s attack on Ukraine.
In a statement, the Prosecutor General’s Office mentioned that Greenpeace posed a risk to the foundation of Russia’s constitutional order and security. The NGO’s activities in the nation revolve around raising awareness of climatic changes, preserving animal species, and fighting forest fires.
Since 2021, Russia extended a repressive law that permits its officials to blacklist organizations.
Under Russia’s current and insidiously evolving legislation on “undesirable” organizations, the prosecutor’s office can designate a foreign or international organization that undermines Russia’s defence, security, or constitutional order as “undesirable”, explained the Human Rights Watch back in 2021.
Per the law, relevant authorities can also open up criminal investigations into individuals alleged to be affiliated with “undesirable” organizations.
Any individual in management or leadership roles in these organizations can be investigated criminally.
Even if there is no case of prior offences, they may be punished with up to six years imprisonment, per Human Rights Watch.
Donors or those individuals who fundraise on behalf of these organizations can also be criminally prosecuted and be charged with up to five years of imprisonment if convicted.
Per Russia, other “undesirable” foreign organizations include the American university Bard College, the George Soros’ Open Society Foundations, and Transparency International (an anti-corruption organization).
References: The Brussels Times, Reuters, The Moscow Times