Russia bans German NGO as law comes into force

17th January 2006, Comments 0 comments

17 January 2006, MOSCOW - The text of a controversial new Russian law on non- governmental organizations (NGOs) was published in state media Tuesday, heralding its entry into force.

17 January 2006

MOSCOW - The text of a controversial new Russian law on non- governmental organizations (NGOs) was published in state media Tuesday, heralding its entry into force.

Meanwhile, authorities in the southern republic of Ingushetia banned three NGOs from the United States, Britain, Germany in what appeared to be first action against foreign charitable organizations working in Russia.

The law was signed by President Vladimir Putin on January 10 and will come into force within 90 days of its publication in the state newspaper Rossiiskaya Gazeta.

While Russian news agencies usually report Putin's signing of laws, the new legislation went through unannounced.

At talks in Moscow Monday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel the Kremlin boss defended the law which tightly regulates registration and operation of NGOs.

No foreign organizations would be affected, Putin told Merkel, who called upon him to ensure the work of non-state organizations was not hampered.

The law has come under international criticism for apparent curbs it places on the development of civil society in Russia. Controversial articles are expected to enable authorities to arbitrarily shut down organizations they regard as undesirable.

There was no immediate explanation for the ban on the three foreign NGOs in Ingushetia. Their activities included provision of aid to victims of the conflict in Chechnya.

DPA

Subject: German news

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