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Russia's Golos Election Monitoring Movement Gets 2017 Democracy Defender Award

The Moscow offices of the Golos organization, which was added to Russia's controversial list of "foreign agents" in 2014.

A Russian nongovernmental election monitoring organization called the Golos (Voice) movement has received the 2017 international Democracy Defender Award from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

A ceremony for the formal presentation of the award was held on January 18 in Vienna, Austria where the OSCE headquarters are located.

Golos said on its website that that it had received the award for what the OSCE described as an "exclusive contribution to promote democracy and human rights."

The annual award was established in early 2016 by OSCE member states to honor the activities of civil society and democratic institutions and to attract attention to problems they face.

In 2014, Russia's Justice Ministry added the Golos organization to its list of what it deems to be "foreign agents" under a controversial Russian law.

That law states that any nongovernmental organization involved in politics that receives foreign funding must register as a "foreign agent."

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