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Russian Federation: Law regulating the activities of NGOs acting as 'foreign agents' passed
Concern as President Vladimir Putin signs the Federal Law On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation Regulating the Activities of Non-Governmental Organisations acting as "Foreign Agents."
Front Line Defenders is deeply concerned that the new law is vague and open to abuse and may be used to further restrict and stigmatise the legitimate activities of human rights defenders in the Russian Federation.
The proposed amendments would characterise any NGO involved in ‘political activities’ that receives funds from abroad as a ‘foreign agent’, and they would be required to register separately with the Ministry of Justice.
Such NGOs would have to comply with stringent audit and reporting requirements or face severe financial penalties, six month bans and even custodial sentences for their employees. There is significant potential for arbitrary and selective restrictions to be placed on the activities of Russian civil society at large.