ASPS Press Release on Russian “Undesirable Organisation" Label

STRASBOURG 07.04.2021: The Association of Schools of Political Studies of the Council of Europe (ASPS) has filed a complaint in Moscows Tverskoy District Court challenging the decision of the Office of Russias General Prosecutor to categorise the ASPS as an undesirable organisation” under a Russian law which aims to silence dissenting voices, NGOS and human rights defenders.

This decision is totally arbitrary because the ASPS which promotes human rights, democracy and the rule of law could never be a threat to Russian national security and what’s more it will hinder the cooperation of Russias citizens with the Council of Europe, of which Russia is a member, said the Association’s PresidentNils Muižnieks.

The consequences of the decision, including prohibition of activities, blocking the ASPS website and Twitter account etc. are unjustified and breach ASPS rights under Article 10 (freedom of expression) and Article 11 (freedom of assembly and association) of the European Convention on Human Rights which the Russian Federation voluntarily pledged to respect when it joined the Council of Europe 25 years ago.

This unprecedented and unacceptable decision is the first time any member state has wilfully tried to stop its citizens from engaging with the Council of Europe since any Russian national involved with the ASPS could be liable to criminal prosecution, the President added.   

Official Press Release