Statement by Marie Harf, Deputy Spokesperson, Russia’s “Undesirables” Law (May 23)

We are deeply troubled by a new law in Russia that allows the government to ban the activities of “undesirable foreign or international organizations” in Russia and criminalizes any “cooperation” with groups with that designation.  We are concerned this new power will further restricts the work of civil society in Russia and is a further example of the Russian government’s growing crackdown on independent voices and intentional steps to isolate the Russian people from the world.

We continue to be concerned about increasing restrictions on independent media, civil society, members of minority groups, and the political opposition.  Russians, like people everywhere, deserve a government that supports an open marketplace of ideas, transparent and accountable governance, equal treatment under the law, and the ability to exercise their rights without fear of retribution.

We urge the Government of Russia to uphold its international obligations and commitments to respect the freedoms of expression, peaceful assembly, and association, and the rule of law.