The Committee for the Prevention of Torture’s members announced its liquidation after the organization was labeled as a foreign agent. The Ministry of Justice entered them to the register on June 10. The Committee’s chairman Sergei Babinets announced the liquidation.
The organization’s members reported that they did not want to work with "a foreign agent’s seal." The Committee’s chairman Sergei Babinets wrote that "the state did not take torture seriously." According to the human rights advocate, social activists will decide how to work further in the coming days.
The Ministry of Justice entered the human rights organization in the register of unregistered associations acting as foreign agents on Friday, June 10. The organization published a report on its activities in the spring of 2022 a few hours earlier.
The Committee for the Prevention of Torture operated since 2000. Initially, several cases from the city of Orsk, Orenburg Oblast, were examined by the department. Human rights advocates from Orenburg systematically recorded appeals since 2007.
Then the organization began to work in Moscow, the Krasnodar Territory, the Republic of Bashkortostan, Nizhny Novgorod Oblast, and the regions of the North Caucasus. In total, the Committee worked with complaints of torture and degrading treatment by law enforcement officers for more than 20 years; the human rights advocates conducted their own investigations, defended victims in courts, and also sought to criminalize the article on torture in Russian legislation.
For example, in February 2021, the human rights advocates created an alternative bill against torture. The State Duma had adopted its own bill on toughening the punishment for this act at the first reading. But, according to the human rights advocates, it may be dangerous because it does not single out torture as a separate crime.
The Committee was already declared a foreign agent in 2015 and 2016, after which it started operating without a legal entity.