Friday, April 26, 2013

Russia Election Watchdog Fined as "Foreign Agent"

Russia's Golos Association, an independent election monitoring NGO, will probably have to close, its director said after the organization was fined 300,000 rubles (around $10,000) for failing to register as a "foreign agent." Moscow's Presnensky District Court ruled on Thursday that Golos’ refusal to register as a "foreign agent" under new legislation is an administrative offense. Golos is the first NGO to face administrative charges following the introduction of the new NGO law last November, which requires any organization involved in political activities and receiving financing from abroad to register as a "foreign agent." That term, to most Russians, is synonymous with spying. The case against the NGO was based on the allegation that Golos received a sum of money as part of the Andrei Sakharov Freedom prize it was awarded by the Norwegian Helsinki Committee in 2012.

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