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Russian Rights Defender Receives Political Asylum In France

  • RFE/RL's Russian Service

Russian rights defender Nadezhda Kutepova has received political asylum in France.

Kutepova told the news portal on April 5 that French authorities a day earlier had granted her and her children political asylum for 10 years.

Kutepova, the director of the Planeta Nadezhd (A Planet of Hope) nongovernmental organization, left for France in July after Russian authorities branded her organization a "foreign agent" and a local television channel accused her group of espionage.

The controversial "foreign agents" law, adopted in 2012, requires any NGO that receives funding from abroad and engages in political activity to formally register as a foreign agent.

Kutepova's NGO, based in the city of Ozersk in the Chelyabinsk region, was involved in defending the rights of radiation victims.

Her organization received funding from Russia's Atomic Agency, the U.S.-based National Endowment for Democracy, Canada's Civil Society organization, the Women in Europe for a Common Future organization based in Germany and the Netherlands, and the Mama Cash Fund for Women in the Netherlands.

With reporting by