Photo: Human Rights House Foundation

Russia declares Norway-headquartered Human Rights House ‘undesirable’

The Procurator General’s Office in Moscow claims the organisation’s activities are “provocative” and “shapes public opinions”.
July 07, 2023


The announcement Friday afternoon comes as no surprise. There is no longer any room for human rights work in Russia.

Today, more than 80 civil society organizations are united under the umbrella foundation Human Rights House. Advocating for the freedoms of assembly, association, and expression, the groups are based in many countries but headquartered in Oslo.

Human Rights House has advocated civil rights in Russia for years and supported many local individuals and groups.

The Procurator General’s Office states that the Human Rights House is engaged in discrediting Russia’s foreign policy and its armed forces. The provocative information agenda of the organization is aimed at political and economic isolation of Russia, the statement reads.

“The activities of the HRHF and the listed national human rights houses are aimed at violating the territorial integrity of the state, destabilizing the socio-political situation, discrediting the domestic and foreign policy pursued by the country’s leadership, and shaping public opinion about the need to change power in an unconstitutional way.”

To underline its accusation that Human Rights House Foundation is a foreign “provocative” organization, the Prosecutor General’s Office points to its investigation discovering that the activities are funded by the European Union, Great Britain, Norway, the Netherlands, Lithuania, Poland, the Czech Republic and Switzerland.

Human Rights House is the second Norwegian group to be declared ‘undesirable’ in Russia after the environmental foundation Bellona was listed in April.


The law on undesirable organizations has been expanded several times and can be used to hinder any foreign or international organization that allegedly undermines Russia’s constitutional order, military, or security.

When blacklisted, any “undesirable organization” must cease all activities in Russia or face criminal sanctions.

A 2021 amendment to the law makes it easier to open criminal cases for people affiliated with an undesirable organization. Offenses carry a punishment of up to six years in prison.


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