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Russian activists to defy 'foreign agent' law

Published on Nov 20, 2012 6:13 PM

MOSCOW (AFP) - Russian rights groups pledged on Tuesday to boycott a new rule forcing top NGOs to carry a "foreign agent" tag, on the eve of the implementation of the law which has become a symbol of President Vladimir Putin's opposition crackdown.

Following unprecedented protests against his decade-long rule, Mr Putin in July signed off on a law that requires non-governmental organisations who receive foreign funding to register with the authorities as "foreign agents."

The legislation, which takes effect from Wednesday, has caused huge concern among Russian NGOs that say the law will stigmatise them in the eyes of everyday Russians.

On Monday, several top Russian NGOs said they would not comply with the law, while others pledged to actively resist the new measure and fight it in courts.

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