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US criticizes new Russian NGO law at OSCE meeting

[JURIST] US diplomats at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) [official website] have expressed concern over Russia's newly adopted NGO law [JURIST report], which grants the Russian government tight control over the registration, financing, and activities of non-governmental organizations in the country, including a variety of foreign and domestic human rights groups. In remarks [PDF] Friday to the OSCE Permanent Council in Vienna, Austria, US Ambassador Julie Finley [official profile] said the new law does not meet human rights standards and fails to fulfill Russia's OSCE commitments, noting that its vague criteria gave the Russian government too much power over NGOs and could be applied selectively for political purposes. The NGO law has been widely criticized [JURIST report] since it was approved by parliament [JURIST report] and signed into law [JURIST report] by Russian President Vladimir Putin in early January. The US State Department has more.

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