The Rafto Foundation, toghether with Norwegian Helsinki Commitee have sent a letter to the Norwegian Foregin Minister addressing concerns regarding last week's liquidation of NGO and 2014 Rafto Prize laureate Agora .
"The 2014 Rafto Prize was awarded to Agora in recognition of their relentless and professional work to defend the right to fair trial and other human rights in a Russia where organisations and individuals are subjected to increasing pressure from the country’s authorities. The foreign agent law precluded Agora from accepting the monetary contribution normally awarded as part of the Rafto Prize for human rights work.
Now, it is time for Norway to again raise this issue with Russian counterparts and prevent further restrictions to the lawful and necessary work of human rights organisations.
Norway and other democratic states should stand by the activists. They need support. The democratic world should state clearly that what Russian authorities do is unacceptable. The precarious situation for human rights defenders in Russia should be highlighted publicly, and in particular in the framework of the UN Human Rights Council".
The letter is undersigned Bjørn Engesland, Secretary General Norwegian Helsinki Commitee and Jostein Hole Kobbeltvedt, Managing Director at Rafto Foundation.
Agora - Pavel Chikov
The 2014 Rafto Prize was awarded to the Russian human rights organisation Agora, represented by its chair Pavel Chikov (36). The award is a recognition of their relentless and professional work defending human rights, including the right to a fair trial and other human rights in a Russia where organisations and individuals are subjected to increasing constraints from the country’s authorities.