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'Foreign Agent' Watch


RFE/RL's bureau in Moscow.

Summary

An amended law on "foreign agents" signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin on December 2, 2019 ratchets up pressure on the hundreds of correspondents working for RFE/RL in Russia who are too often the only source of reliable information in their remote regions, and who provide one of the few alternatives to Kremlin-controlled news.

RFE/RL's ‘Foreign Agent’ Watch is monitoring the law’s implementation, and its impact on media independence and journalists’ security in Russia.

Text of the "amendments to the law concerning foreign mass media fulfilling the functions of a foreign agent" in the Russian Federation, here (in Russian)

Human Rights Watch: Russia's 'Foreign Agents' Bill Threatens Journalists

Human Rights Watch, The Committee to Protect Journalists, Reporters Without Borders, and seven other monitoring organizations expressed serious concerns about the law, stating it “will have a detrimental impact on the already restrictive environment for independent journalism in Russia and should be dropped.”

Reporting, 12/3/2019

Putin Signs 'Foreign Agents' Law That Threatens Website Closures

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a bill that amends an existing law on media outlets deemed "foreign agents" that critics say is used to muzzle dissent, limit news plurality, and discourage the free exchange of ideas. RFE/RL President Jamie Fly said on November 21 that the law "invades" the lives and security of reporters and "is reminiscent of the darkest times in Russia's past."

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