Putin signs bill targeting journalists and bloggers as foreign agents

Cheryl Sanders
December 4, 2019

Russian Federation passed the original "foreign agent" law - which requires all NGOs receiving foreign funding to register - in 2012 following the biggest wave of anti-government protests since Putin came to power.

The brand new legislation makes it potential to use the overseas agent label to people, particularly to those that unfold content material from media or different organizations made a decision to be overseas brokers and who obtain any form of funding from a overseas or foreign-financed supply.

Russian opposition politician Alexi Navalny's organisation has been branded a foreign agent, as has US-financed media outlet Radio Liberty/Radio Free Europe and Voice of America.

Nine human rights NGOs, including Amnesty International and Reporters Without Borders, have expressed concern that the amendments may be aimed not only at journalists but also at bloggers and internet users who benefit from scholarships, funding or revenues from a relevant media outlet. The law also says that any individual who distributes foreign media could be labelled a foreign agent. We are able to getting outcomes with administrative measures. He had political operatives Paul Manafort and Rick Gates indicted for violating the Foreign Agent Registration Act of 1938, previously a laxly enforced law.

Rights groups and other organisations designated by the Russian justice ministry as foreign agents can be subjected to spot checks and face bureaucratic scrutiny. Even U.S. officials sometimes confuse the regulations, and it's not easy for a layman to understand what actions make one a foreign agent under them. Putin blamed Western influence and money for those protests. Though the new law uses the same term as the USA statutes, "foreign agent", it doesn't have the same meaning. Spying is a quite clearly outlined crime that, deservedly, carries a heavy punishment the world over. This isn't a virtuous cycle.

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