Published: Wed, December 04, 2019

Putin signs law targeting journalists as foreign agents

Putin signs law targeting journalists as foreign agents

The foreign agent label already applies to certain media organisations and non-governmental organisation which engage in politics and receive funding from overseas.

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.

Russian Federation can now designate independent journalists and bloggers as foreign agents after amending a controversial law.

A small variety of media organizations - for now, simply these funded by the U.S. Congress, akin to Voice of America and Radio Liberty - have been designated as overseas brokers, too.

Several rights groups, including Human Rights Watch, had called for the initiative to be dropped as it was being approved by lawmakers.

Government officials say the law will help Russian IT firms compete with foreign companies, which dominate Russia's mobile phone market, Reuters reported. We are able to getting outcomes with administrative measures.


Russian Federation first passed legislation allowing media organisations to be slapped with the label in 2017 after Kremlin-funded RT television was declared a foreign agent in the US.

Foreign agent was a Soviet-era term of abuse for political dissidents. Compliance would require stating publicly that one is a foreign agent and filing financial reports with the government.

Putin was aggravated by the Butina case. "They grabbed the girl, put her behind bars, and they had nothing to show for it", he commented after her sentencing. Putin blamed Western influence and money for those protests. Additionally as typical beneath Putin, the response is asymmetrical. Though the new law uses the same term as the USA statutes, "foreign agent", it doesn't have the same meaning.

Within the US, an agent should do issues on the behest of a overseas official. Spying is a quite clearly outlined crime that, deservedly, carries a heavy punishment the world over.

But various forms of "espionage lite" are nebulous enough to be used by overeager officials to make political points and strike tit-for-tat blows. Paranoia within the USA units off Russian vindictiveness. This is not a virtuous cycle.

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