EU higher representative for external affairs and security policy catherine ashton expressed concern about counteraction of russian authorities to ngo activities.

In her statement Catherine Ashton notices that “the inspections and searches launched against the Russian µGO community and conducted on vague legal grounds are worrisome since they seem to be aimed at further undermining civil society activities in the country. The ongoing raids, taken together with the recent package of legislation that curtails the civil freedoms of Russian population, an upsurge in prosecution of civil society activists … as well as lack of action in some prominent cases of human rights abuses, constitute a trend that is deeply troubling.».

Earlier the opinion about inadmissibility of pressing the civil society by means of inspections of NGOs was expressed by representstives of the ministry of foreign affairs of different countries and international human rights organisations including: the international federation for human rights (FIDH), Amnesty International, Frontline Defenders, and Human Rights Watch, Transparency International, Freedom House.

«Mass prosecutions and the campaign launched in mass media mean attempts to discredit NGOs and to oppose their legal and necessary work», – said FIDH president Souhayr Belhassen about the situation in Russia.

Last days in different regions of Russia tens of NGOs were subjected to inspections, hundreds of inspections are expected the coming days. In St.Petersburg prosecutor inspections have started in Anti-discrimination centre «Memorial», St.Petersburg charitable historical-enlightenment human rights organisation «Memorial» and in Research and information centre «Memorial». In Moscow there were inspections in International «Memorial», Moscow «Memorial» and Human rights centre «Memorial».

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