Foundation Inostrannyi Agent – Human Rights Initiative for the former USSR

Goals of the Foundation

According to the statutes of the foundation, the “Foundation Inostrannyi Agent” has chosen its name in reference to the law of 2012, in which organizations that are “politically active” and receive financial support from abroad have to register as “foreign agent”. The foundation believes that this law has been enacted to curb or even destroy civil society in Russia and has decided to use the term “inostrannyi agent/foreign agent” as a name of honor.

For Western Europeans the notion of “inostrannyi agent” has no or hardly any significance. For citizens of the former Soviet Union it sounds however extremely ominous. It refers to the darkest days of Stalinism, when the rubberstamp of “enemy of the people” would irrevocably lead to arrest, long terms of imprisonment or death by starvation or execution. This is exactly the goal of the regime: to invoke the fear of the past, as a result of which people with refrain from participating in demonstrations, protests, support of the opposition or altogether from being active in non-governmental activities.

The foundation has set itself the following goals:

  • To document human rights abuses in the former USSR
  • To inform the general public through publications, social media and public events
  • To organize campaign in defense of human rights in the target region
  • To support persons and organizations who have run into trouble as a result of their work in defense of human rights in former Soviet republics and who deserve our support.

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