Washington, DC - Russia reached an unfortunate milestone December 19 when it listed the 150th non-governmental organization (NGO) under its so-called “foreign agent law.” The use of the term “foreign agent” is a deliberate choice suggesting that these organizations are traitors. In fact, under this legislation Russia has targeted ‎organizations dedicated to pursuits such as fighting torture, preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS, and even protecting migratory birds.

The people of Russia deserve a strong, democratic government that respects the role that civil society plays in holding governments accountable and providing essential services, rather than stifling NGOs' important work‎. We urge the Russian government to abolish this legislation today and uphold its international human rights commitments.