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The latest decision by the Russian Ministry of Justice on 25 December to forcibly include the Sakharov centre as well as two other regional NGOs in the so called "Foreign Agents Registry" confirms continued pressure on Russian civil society and human rights organisations. With this latest decision the number of Russian NGOs labelled as "foreign agents" has increased to a total of twenty-four.
These developments affect the state of fundamental freedoms of association and expression in Russia. We expect that the Russian government will suspend the practice of branding Russian NGOs as "foreign agents", comply with its international obligations and apply the international legal standards.