Designation under Russia's "Undesirables" Law of the Open Society Foundations

Press Statement
Mark C. Toner
Deputy Department Spokesperson
Washington, DC
November 30, 2015

We are deeply troubled by Russia’s continued restrictions against civil society organizations in Russia.  Today’s designation of the Open Society Foundations and the Open Society Institute Assistance Foundation as so-called “undesirable” organizations will only further restrict the work of civil society in Russia for the benefit of the Russian people.  This action is yet another example of the Russian Government’s growing crackdown on independent voices and a deliberate step to further isolate the Russian people from the world.  

We continue to be concerned about increasing restrictions on independent media, civil society, members of minority groups, and those seeking a voice in their government.  Russians, like people everywhere, deserve an open marketplace of ideas, transparent and accountable governance, equal treatment under the law, and the ability to exercise their rights without fear of retribution.  We urge the Government of Russia to uphold its international obligations and commitments to respect the freedoms of expression, peaceful assembly, and association, and the rule of law.