As apprehended on November 12, 2014 Humanistic Youth Movement (GDM) has been declared a „foreign agent“ – at the end of the several trial days including court case in Murmansk1. The case had been started by the prosecutor’s office on demand of the Russian secret service FSB. The actual competent institution would have been the Russian Ministry of Justice, that already had declared uncounted organizations „foreign agents“. However, in this case it had handed in a letter to the court objecting to the categorization of Humanistic Youth Movement as foreign agent – an apparently unique occurence so far. Before December 17 GDM wants to appeal against the court decision2.

In consequence of the judgement GDM would have to register themselves with the Ministry of Justice as „foreign agent“. If they would do that, they would probably be stigmatized forever, because the Russian „foreign agent“ law doesn‘t provide a procedure to release organizations from the foreign agent register if they once have been added – even if the reasons for the categorization (receiving foreign support or „political“ activities) wouldn‘t apply any more. Thus, in the case the appeal would fail, GDM would rather cease than to continue to work stigmatized this way.

Footnotes

  1. http://barentsobserver.com/en/society/2014/11/first-ngo-murmansk-declared-foreign-agent-14-11 as of December 5, 2014 [back]
  2. GDM information via e-mail as of December 2, 2014 [back]