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Russian election monitor Golos fined for failure to register as foreign agent

Russia's only independent election monitoring group has been fined 300,000 rubles ($10,000) for failing to register as a foreign agent — the first case of the much-disputed law being enforced.

The Russian parliament passed a bill in November obliging nongovernmental organizations that receive foreign funding and are involved in loosely defined political activities to register as foreign agents. Rights defenders and civil society activists see it as a tool intended to erode their credibility.

Golos's executive director told The Associated Press from the court on Thursday that they would appeal the decision in a higher court.

Golos was fined for receiving €50,000 ($65,470) in award money from the Norwegian Helsinki Committee, which supports people persecuted because of their opinions.