American pro-democracy NGO Freedom House deemed ‘undesirable organisation’ by Russia

Russia’s Justice Ministry has added American human rights NGO Freedom House to its list of “undesirable” organisations on Tuesday, according to a statement published by the Prosecutor General’s Office.

The NGO, which was co-founded by Eleanor Roosevelt in 1941, was deemed “undesirable” for what the Justice Ministry said was its role reinforcing Washington’s dominant role in global politics, promoting the interests of “unfriendly” countries, and “discrediting” the Russian military. Having been deemed “undesirable”, Freedom House’s operations in Russia are now illegal and the organisation must now be dissolved.

The statement also noted that Freedom House actively advocated for assistance to Ukraine, including the confiscation of Russian assets, and increased sanctions on Russia. It also said that Freedom House provided support to Russian oppositionists, pro-Western and LGBT activists, and people who had been convicted of terrorist offences in Russia.

Freedom House is known for its research into the state of political and civil liberties in countries around the world. In 2024, it ranked Russia as an “unfree” country, and only rated 28 countries worse off in terms of political and civil rights.

To date over 140 organisations have been deemed “undesirable organisations” by the Russian government, including Novaya Gazeta Europe, human rights organisation Memorial, and the Free Russia Foundation.

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