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Amnesty, HRW May Be Listed As 'Undesirable' In Russia

Vitaly Zolochevsky, a parliamentarian from the ultranationalist Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR), has reportedly asked the Prosecutor General's Office to check if watchdogs Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch pose a threat to Russia's security.

The request comes shortly after President Vladimir Putin on May 23, signed a new law giving prosecutors the power to declare foreign and international organizations "undesirable" in Russia and shut them down.

Other groups on Zolochevsky's list reportedly include the Carnegie Moscow Center think tank, and the Memorial human rights center.

The law has been widely condemned in the West and by activists in Russia.

The U.S. State Department called it "a further example of the Russian government's growing crackdown on independent voices and intentional steps to isolate the Russian people from the world."

Analysts say the law is part of a Kremlin campaign to stifle dissent that intensified after Putin began his third term in 2012.

Based on reporting by