Russia’s Czar President Vladimir Putin has taken another draconian step to crush democracy. The law mentioned in this report was mentioned here last year during the tumult over the expulsion of Moscow’s chief rabbi, a Putin (and Chabad) enemy. Now, the law has been passed. The New Yok Times reports:
…The new law, strongly backed by President Vladimir V. Putin, created extensive new filing requirements, which in some cases the [non-governmental] organizations, [primarily charities, educational and human rights orgs and schools] said had been so tedious and lengthy as to be almost impossible to fulfill. The groups have also expressed apprehension over the rules’ vagueness, which could allow any group to be audited, and perhaps closed, on a pretext.
They and their supporters have said that how the law is enforced will be a test of whether Russia will allow foreign organizations that it dislikes to continue to work in the country. The first deadline, and its effects on Thursday, were accompanied by a strong sense of concern, even fear.
“My fear is that their intention is to shut us down,” Josh Rubenstein, a director at Amnesty International, said by telephone. Amnesty International has had an office in Russia since the days of the last Soviet leader, Mikhail S. Gorbachev, he said.
The Justice Ministry posted a list of 73 organizations that were not yet approved, and thus were suspended. At least 38 of those were listed by the ministry as American or had a clear American affiliation, including the American Bar Association, the American-Russian Business Council, the American Trade Chamber and Johns Hopkins University.
The suspended Western organizations also included the Danish Refugee Council and the French and Belgian offices of Doctors Without Borders.…