Washington, December 31, 2020 (AFP) – The US on Thursday accused Russia of theft of freedom of expression after Moscow imposed sanctions against non-governmental organizations and media outlets as “foreign agents”.
“Deeply concerned about the intensity of repression against civil society in Russia,” State Department Deputy Spokesperson Kell Brown wrote on Twitter, demanding that Russia “respect the rights of its citizens”.
Brown wrote, “Changes in foreign agent law are of particular concern, as they allow officers to enforce expensive registration and labeling requirements, prohibit organization activities and arrest violators of laws . “
The government of Russian President Vladimir Putin refers to non-governmental groups and media as “foreign agents”, a term that dates back to the Soviet era.
The Russian Telecommunications Control Service announced on Tuesday that it had classified media officials as “foreign agents” to warn them to somehow identify their publications and document their actions in detail or with restrictions. Face it.
The list of these media includes Radio Liberty / Radio Free Europe and Voice of America, funded by the United States.
Russia began labeling these channels after the Kremlin-funded RT Television registered as a foreign agent in the United States in 2017 amid concerns about Russian influence in last year’s presidential election.
Under United States regulations, RT should label its content on behalf of a foreign government and report its transactions to authorities, but its coverage is not restricted.
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