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TI Russia Director General Ilia Shumanov declared “foreign agent”: our statement

On October 21, the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation included Ilia Shumanov, the Director General of Transparency International Russia, on the list of individuals designated as ‘foreign agents’.

Ilia Shumanov started his work at TI Russia in 2013 as the director of the anti-corruption center in Kaliningrad. In 2016 he became the Deputy General Director of TI Russia; he has been leading the organization as a Director General since 2021.

TI Russia has been a vocal opponent of the use of ‘foreign agent’ status and retains this position. Designation as ‘foreign agent’ is not only a way to undermine the reputation of civil society organizations and actors, but an attempt to complicate their work as well. Meanwhile the state officials interpret the ‘foreign agent status’ as an oppressive measure against those active in the field of Russian civil society.

On the next day, October 22, a paper was delivered at Ilia Shumanov’s address in Kaliningrad demanding him to ‘immediately report’ to a nearby school ‘by the President’s Mobilization Decree and the decision of the district (city) draft board’. We consider this as another case of administrative pressure, on Mr. Shumanov personally and the organization in general.

TI Russia was designated as a ‘foreign agent’ NGO in 2015. Thus we are the first Russian organization whose Director General is declared ‘foreign agent’ as well. (However, there are cases when an individual was declared a ‘mass media forein agent’, as with Stepan Petrov, head of Yakutia – Our Opinion NGO, which was also designated as a ‘foreign agent’.)

Despite this pressure, we continue our efforts in the interest of civil society in Russia and all its citizens.

Elena A. Panfilova
Founder and Chair of Transparency International Russia

Note: Director General of TI Russia Ilia Shumanov did not take part in the work on this message.

03.11.2022 17:42

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