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Amnesty: Russian 'Foreign-Agents' Law Choking Freedom

  • RFE/RL

A man walks past graffiti reading "Foreign agents. I love USA" on the building used by used by the Memorial Human Rights Center in Moscow.

A man walks past graffiti reading "Foreign agents. I love USA" on the building used by used by the Memorial Human Rights Center in Moscow.

Amnesty International says that a restrictive "foreign agents law" adopted a year ago is choking independent nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in Russia.

In a statement on November 20, Amnesty said that one year after the law came into force, more than 1,000 NGOs have been inspected and dozens have received warnings, while several of the most prominent human rights groups have been fined and some forced to close after they refused to register as "foreign agents."

The law requires any NGO receiving foreign funding and engaging in "political activities" to register as a "foreign agent."

It is at the center of a raft of what Amnesty calls repressive legislation adopted since Vladimir Putin returned to the presidency in May 2012.

SPECIAL SECTION: The Crackdown On NGOs In Russia

Amnesty says it was "designed to stigmatize and discredit NGOs engaged in human rights, election monitoring, and other critical work."
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