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NGO Bill Passes Second Reading In Russian Duma

Protesters demonstrate against the NGO bill in front of the Duma building in December (RFE/RL) 21 December 2005 -- The Russian State Duma, the lower house of parliament, today passed in a second reading a controversial bill restricting nongovernmental organizations (NGOs).

The version passed today had been amended at the request of President Vladimir Putin after it encountered fierce criticism from Russian and international NGOs.

NGOs said even with the revisions the proposed law is still too strict.

Duma deputies passed the bill in a vote of 376 to 10.

The bill still must pass a third reading in the Duma before going to the upper house of parliament.