Putin Signs Law Branding NGOs 'Foreign Agents'

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Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed into law a controversial bill passed by parliament that brands NGOs who receive funding from abroad as "foreign agents", the Kremlin said Saturday.

The law, which has caused huge concern among activists who fear it will be used to stigmatize critical NGOs, was signed by Putin after it was rushed through the lower and upper houses of parliament before their summer breaks.

Putin "signed the federal law on regulating the activities of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) who carry out the role of a foreign agent", the Kremlin said in a statement.

The law, which sailed through the State Duma lower house on July 13 and then the upper house Federation Council on July 18, requires NGOs who receive foreign funding to register with the authorities as foreign agents.

The NGOs will have to allow official checks of their income, accounting and management structure as well as regularly make public their sources of income and their management.

Analysts believe the law appears to be a response to the criticism by NGO election watchdogs of December parliamentary polls and the March presidential elections won by Putin which were followed by mass anti-Kremlin protests.

Putin has lashed out at foreign-funded Russian election NGOs such as the watchdog Golos, whose evidence of vote-rigging was used by the opposition to back claims the polls were illegitimate.

Comments 1
Default-user-icon ingimundar (Guest) 21 July 2012, 22:31

referencing election monitor mentioned in this article by the name of "GOLOS".

Election monitor Golos accusations were spurious. America's National Endowment for Democracy (NED) funds it. It supports regime change in non-US client states.

It backs opposition groups, conducts propaganda campaigns, and does openly what CIA operatives do covertly to destabilize sitting governments.

Its mission is subverting, not promoting democracy. It operates with State Department funding and direction. It serves US imperial interests destructively against targeted countries.