Friends in Russia with whom we partly since years made actions and projects – on anti-nuclear and intercultural topics – since some time experience excessive persecution by Russian authorities1. With the „foreign agent“ and „extremism“2 legislation tools have been created to oppress and turn off organizations and movements being critical towards the state, but also any others disturbing8 the political powers2,3,4,6,10,11. Legal organizations in this context de facto get banned if they are classified „foreign agents“, because a continuation of their work under these circumstances is almost impossible.9 With vague accusations of extremism also individuals who expressed criticism are threatened with perennial imprisonment, and virtually get vanished into thin air. Environmental and human rights groups as well as other progressive organizations shall be stigmatized spies7 and publicly discredited1.

With a campaign we want to inform about the „foreign agent“ and „extremism“ laws for the oppression of social movements in Russia, update on current cases, make solidarity work as well as campaign for active support (e.g. public relations, practical help) and donations for the legal struggles of concerned organizations. We don‘t want to serve anti-Russian resentments, of which too many already circulate in the German public, neither we want to create the picture of an „evil Russia“ on the one side and the „ideal Europe“ on the other side. That’s a difficult challenge in this time with regard to tensioned foreign affairs, but our friends now need any possible support.

For the beginning of the public hearings in the case against GDM on July 8 a solidarity call has been published. We still look for supporters – groups willing to add their names under it should send an e-mail tosoli-kampagne ÄTT riseup.net5.

Donations for the legal struggles are strongly needed! Those are not tax-deductible. And virtually receiving foreign money for a political campaign in Russia again means to meet the „foreign agent“ criteria… Nevertheless:

bank account: Spenden & Aktionen
purpose: „Soli Russland“
IBAN: DE29 5139 0000 0092 8818 06
BIC: VBMHDE5FXXX
bank: Volksbank Mittelhessen

Within the scope of the solidarity campaign for our friends in Russia we want to collect and preprocess background information on the „foreign agent“ and „extremism“ legislation as well as the applied consequences for critical activists. We want to inform on cases we know about, and support concrete concerned groups and people by public relations, providing resources and donations. As our activities in Germany also could cause negative consequences for the activists in the Russian Federation, we stay in exchange with the concerned people and attempt to agree our strategy with them. We will only publish concrete cases we know about that the concerned activists already appeared before the public or explicitly want it. However, much more groups are concerned than what we can mention with the cases here.

If you would like to commit to the solidarity work, please write an e-mail to „soli-kampagne ÄTT riseup.net“5.

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Further information

References

  1. http://www.linksnet.de/de/artikel/31300 as of May 25, 2014 [back]
  2. http://www.dw.de/russland-extremismusgesetze-weiter-versch%C3%A4rft/a-2680190-1 as of May 30, 2014 [back]
  3. http://www.handelsblatt.com/meinung/gastbeitraege/nina-chrustschowa-putins-anti-extremismus-gesetz/7552500-2.html as of May 30, 2014 [back]
  4. http://www.sova-center.ru/en/misuse/ as of June 13, 2014 [back]
  5. For protection against automatical email address robots searching for addresses to send spam to them this email address has been made unreadable for them. To get a correct mail address you have to displace „ÄTT“ by the @-symbol. [back]
  6. http://www.zeit.de/politik/ausland/2012-07/russland-ngo-gesetz-2 as of June 26, 2014 [back]
  7. http://www.zeit.de/politik/ausland/2012-07/russland-gesetz-agenten as of June 26, 2014 [back]
  8. http://in.rbth.com/articles/2012/11/24/ngos_to_fight_law_branding_them_foreign_agents_19297.html as of May 25, 2014 [back]
  9. http://bellona.org/news/russian-human-rights-issues/russian-ngo-law/2014-07-foreign-agent-wants-slap-label-ecodefense-resisting-matters as of July 7, 2014 [back]
  10. http://bellona.org/news/russian-human-rights-issues/russian-ngo-law/2014-07-breaking-russian-authorities-officially-brand-four-leading-human-rights-organizations-ecodefense-foreign-agents-ahead-court-decisions as of August 2, 2014 [zurück]
  11. information from Ecodefense via e-mail as of July 24, 2014 [back]