Russian Rights Nonprofits Ignoring ‘Foreign Agent’ Directive

Many Russian human rights groups are defying a law that took effect last week requiring them to register with the government as “foreign agents” if they receive any funding from abroad, writes The New York Times. Activists said they will risk fines or imprisonment rather than accept a label they contend would undermine public trust in organizations that monitor elections and the judiciary and encourage pro-democracy reforms.

The law, adopted by Russia‘s parliament in July, is viewed by rights groups as part of a broader effort by President Vladimir Putin’s administration to suppress opposition in the wake of the large anti-Kremlin protests that accompanied his return to office earlier this year. Supporters of the measure say it targets efforts by the governments of other countries, primarily the United States, to meddle in Russian politics.

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