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Russia ‘foreign agent’ label reduces access to information

“The “foreign agent” legislation goes against Russia’s human rights obligations and commitments, and the extension of its scope to foreign media, in addition to its existing application to Russian NGOs, is a further threat to free and independent media and to access to information, and yet another attempt to shrink the space for independent voices in Russia.” – says the statement of the European External Action Service (EEAS), reacting of new law, regulating operation of foreign outlets.
The President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin signed legislation allowing the Ministry of Justice to impose the use of the “foreign agent” label against any foreign media receiving, directly or indirectly, foreign funding.
“The European Union has a longstanding and clear position that the existing Russian legislation on labelling NGOs as “foreign agents” and the ensuing fines, inspections and stigmatisation for the organisations labelled, further tighten the restrictions on the exercise of fundamental freedoms in Russia, consume the scarce resources of NGOs and inhibit independent civil society in the country” – the EEAS statement concludes.
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