Human Rights Watch (HRW) says Russia is using its controversial "foreign agents" law to "curtail a broad range of work" by nongovernmental organizations.
HRW has reviewed dozens of warnings and violation notices issued under the law from the prosecutor’s office to independent organizations, it says in a statement
The New York-based group says these documents reveal an "apparent effort to limit advocacy, advisory, and public education activities on a wide spectrum of issues that involve comment on, or interaction with, government authorities."
HRW says at least 62 groups have received warnings or orders to register as foreign agents or have been taken to court by the authorities since March.
Under the law, groups that receive foreign funding and engage in "political activity" are considered foreign agents.
Five groups have been ordered to pay fines and register.