EU slams Russia over new anti-NGO law

Law allowing prosecution of NGO employees seen as "worrying step" in series of restrictions on freedom of speech.

    Critics say the vague wording of the legislation, and a process that bypasses the court system, means that any group or business could be targeted [AFP]
    Critics say the vague wording of the legislation, and a process that bypasses the court system, means that any group or business could be targeted [AFP]

    The EU has criticised Russian President Vladimir Putin for enacting a law banning what Moscow deems to be undesirable non-government organisation.

    Under the law signed by Putin on Saturday, Russian authorities can ban foreign NGOs and prosecute their employees, who risk up to six years in prison or being barred from the country.

    The new law is a "worrying step in a series of restrictions on civil society, independent media and political opposition," a spokesperson for the EU's foreign service said in a statement on Sunday.

    "It will restrict freedom of speech and media as well as pluralism of opinion," the spokesperson added.

    The EU noted what it called "the negative opinion" of the Russian Presidential Council of Human Rights, because the law also goes against the Russian constitution.

    Critics have said the vague wording of the legislation, and a process that bypasses the court system, means that any group or business could be targeted.

    SOURCE: AFP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Explore how your country voted on global issues since 1946, as the world gears up for the 74th UN General Assembly.

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    We dialled more than 35,000 random phone numbers to paint an accurate picture of displacement across South Sudan.

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.