Europe

Amnesty International slams Russia "foreign agents" law

Amnesty International says that more than a hundred Russian non-governmental organizations have seen their funding shrink and dozens have been forced to shut since a "foreign agents" law has come into force.

The group said in a report released Friday that the 2012 law has hurt freedom of expression and individual rights in Russia.

It said 148 organizations have been put on the list of "foreign agents," of which 27 have shut. Many of them provided services not provided by the state, such as legal representation or psychological support for victims of discrimination or violence.

The law requires all NGOs that receive foreign funding and engage in vaguely defined political activities to register as foreign agents, a term that carries Cold War connotations of spying.