The state Duma has equated the assessment of the work of officials to political activity


The state Duma adopted in the second and third readings of the bill clarifying the definition of political activities for NGOs. In the third reading voted 427 deputies voted 430.

It was developed by the Ministry of justice, in late January, the Department published for public comment. In the state Duma a bill, which was introduced in February by deputies of all factions, the text of the Ministry of justice has not changed.

The justice Ministry proposed to consider the areas of regulation, where such activities take place, the state building and the Federal structure, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of Russia, rule of law, the rule of law, security, defense, foreign policy, integrity and stability of the political system, socio-economic and national development of the country, the functioning and formation of bodies of state power and local self-government, the regulation of the rights and freedoms of man and citizen.

The forms in which NGOs can engage in politics, the Ministry of justice has ranked the part in rallies and public statements, any activity associated with the elections, public circulation to government agencies in order to influence their decisions, public assessment of their work, the impact on public opinion (including his study), the involvement of citizens towards politics, as well as the financing of the above.

The bill was initially criticized by human rights activists, including from the Committee of civil initiatives Alexei Kudrin and presidential Council on human rights. Its Chairman Mikhail Fedotov said that the project of the Ministry of justice “any activity can be recognize as political.” The Council has developed their mitigation proposals in the bill, however, the Kremlin State legal Department has rejected them.

Against the amendments were expressed, and many charitable organizations, including the Fund “give life”. The state Duma they decided to meet. The second reading profile Committee on Affairs of public organizations contributed to the document mitigates the amendment. She was expelled from the notion of political activity “activity in science, culture, art, health, prevention and health protection, social maintenance, social support and protection of citizens, protection of motherhood and childhood, social support of persons with disabilities, propaganda of healthy lifestyle, physical culture and sports, protection of flora and fauna, charitable activities”.

However, NGOs involved in the listed activities, not to get into agents, will not go beyond its sphere.

Asked to exclude from the bill its sector’s NGO — Association “NP market Council” — the Ministry of energy, but this proposal was rejected by the Duma.

Thus, the current convocation of the state Duma has completed the revision of the law, adopted in the beginning of his work, in the summer of 2012. Then the Parliament adopted resonated a law requiring funded from abroad and leading the political activities of NGOs to register as foreign agents. Since then, human rights activists and politicians argue about the wording and correctness. Since the adoption of the law of the HRC, the Public chamber, state Duma deputies, public and various human rights organizations have repeatedly offered to make both softening, and toughening amendments.