News / Europe

Russia Fines Golos for Not Registering as Foreign Agent

Liliya Shibanova, leader of Russian election watchdog Golos, works at her office in Moscow, Russia, Sep. 19, 2012.Liliya Shibanova, leader of Russian election watchdog Golos, works at her office in Moscow, Russia, Sep. 19, 2012.
x
Liliya Shibanova, leader of Russian election watchdog Golos, works at her office in Moscow, Russia, Sep. 19, 2012.
Liliya Shibanova, leader of Russian election watchdog Golos, works at her office in Moscow, Russia, Sep. 19, 2012.
Election watchdog Golos has become the first non-governmental organization (NGO) to be fined in Russia under a controversial new law. A Moscow court ruled Golos had failed to declare itself as a "foreign agent" after receiving funds from abroad after the law took effect in November.

Golos, which means vote or voice, has been fined 300,000 rubles - roughly $10,000 dollars - for failing to register as a foreign agent, a term synonymous with espionage in the Soviet period.

A Moscow court ruled that the NGO received 50,000 euros - roughly $65,000 - in award money from the Norwegian Helsinki Committee, an organization that supports people who are persecuted for their opinions.

Golos’ Executive Director Lilia Shibanova was also fined 100,000 rubles - around $3,200.

Golos has said that the new law requiring NGOs to register as a foreign agent if they receive foreign funding and participate in political activities does not apply to it, because it stopped receiving such funding after the new law went into effect.

Rachel Denber, deputy director of the Europe and Central Asian Division of Human Rights Watch, discussed the new law at a press conference in Moscow.

She said the stamp of foreign agent cannot be interpreted in Russia as anything other than a foe at best, and a traitor at worst. In any case, she said, it means a disguised and harmful person.

Golos Executive Director Shibanova said the organization will appeal the decision to a higher court.

Since Russian President Vladimir Putin returned to the Kremlin for an unprecedented third term last year, the country has seen massive protests against his government.  The Kremlin has been cracking down on dissent. It has increased the fines for participating in and or organizing unsanctioned protests against the government by more than 150-fold.

You May Like

Obama Pledges 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace Christmas precisely because of its non-religious glamor and commercial appeal More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid