Accessibility links

Human Rights Watch Criticizes New Russian Law

A leading international human rights group says Russia's new law restricting non-governmental groups is repressive and it is asking the Group of Eight industrialized nations to make it a key issue on the agendas of future meetings.

Moscow takes over the rotating leadership of the G-8, the world's seven leading industrialized nation plus Russia, on January 1 and President Vladimir Putin is expected to sign the bill into law before the end of this year.

New York-based Human Rights Watch says the legislation is broad and ambiguous, giving Russian government offices an unprecedented level of discretion in regulating non-governmental organizations.

It notes that Russian leaders insist the limitations are necessary for Russia's security. However, the organization says enactment of the law will not only severely restrict NGOs, but will also undermine the rights of all Russians.

Some information for this report provided by AP.