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Russian Human Rights Group Labeled 'Foreign Agent' Again


Human rights activist Lev Ponomaryov (file photo)

Russia's Justice Ministry has labeled a well-known human rights group a "foreign agent" for the second time.

The ministry said that the For Human Rights group led by veteran rights activist Lev Ponomaryov had been added to the registry of foreign agents as a result of an inspection of the group's activities.

Ponomaryov wrote on his blog in December that the Justice Ministry had launched an unannounced inspection of the group 's activities.

The inspection was launched a day after Ponomaryov was found guilty of organizing an unauthorized protest via the Internet and sentenced to 25 days in jail.

Investigators said Ponomaryov used his Facebook account to organize an October 28 demonstration in support of New Greatness and Network, two youth activist groups that Russian authorities accuse of extremism.

The jail term was later cut to 16 days.

Supporters and Kremlin critics condemned the 77-year-old activist's detainment, and called for his release.

Ponomaryov's group was initially labeled a foreign agent in December 2014. After the group refused to register as a foreign agent it was fined 300,000 rubles ($4,500).

A year later, the Justice Ministry annulled the group's foreign-agent status.

With reporting by Dozhd and TASS
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