Tuesday, October 21, 2014


Russia

Russian Activists Vow To Defy NGO Law

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Upper House OKs 'Foreign Agent' Bill

Russia's Federation Council, the upper house of parliament, has overwhelmingly backed a controversial bill that calls for nongovernmental organizations receiving international funding to be branded as "foreign agents."
Leading Russian nongovernmental organizations say they will defy a new law that brands them as "foreign agents."

The law, which takes effect on November 21, obliges NGOs that receive foreign funding and are engaged in "political activities" to register as "foreign agents."

Activists say it is aimed at discrediting the NGOs and making it easier for the government to crack down on them.

President Vladimir Putin says the measure is necessary protection against foreign meddling in Russian political affairs.

Leading rights groups, including Memorial, the election-monitoring group Golos, and the Moscow Helsinki Group say they will refuse to register, in defiance of the law.

Furkat Tishaev, a lawyer for Memorial, said the groups intend to challenge the law in the European Court of Human Rights.

Amnesty International has called for a repeal of the law.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, and dpa

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