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 Committee Against Torture labeled 'Foreign Agent' in Russia

Russian human rights organization "Committee Against Torture" has formally decided to close its doors, citing its refusal to accept the label of a "foreign agent."

Censor.NET reports citing Tvrain.ru

A 2012 law relegates NGOs that receive funding from abroad and that are seen as politically active to a list of "foreign agents", a term traditionally associated in Russia with espionage. Being labeled as a "foreign agent" does not require an organization to close. However, they must openly display their status, and are subjected to heightened scrutiny and increased government inspections.

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After the Committee Against Torture was ordered to register as a "foreign agent," it challenged the decision. But a Nizhny Novgorod court held on July 8 said the organization must comply and accept the label. It was then that Committee Against Torture chairman Igor Kalyapin decided to pursue liquidation rather than accept the label, current affairs magazine Slon reported at the time.

On Friday, a majority of the NGO's members voted in favor of its liquidation, formalizing the process. Immediately following the vote, the Committee Against Torture was required to cease all of its operations, Kalyapin explained in comments to the newspaper. A liquidation commission will take the reins from this point forward, he said.

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