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Russian media law poses threat to free press: U.S. State Department

Russian media law poses threat to free press: U.S. State Department
From Reuters - November 28, 2017

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. State Department said on Tuesday that a new law allowing Russias Justice Ministry to list foreign media outlets as foreign agents posed a threat to free press and it urged Moscow not to use the measure to tighten control over the media.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement on Tuesday, Freedom of expression, including speech and media which a government may find inconvenient, is a universal human rights obligation Russia has pledged to uphold.

She said Russias foreign agents law had been used to justify a constant stream of raids, harassment, and legal proceedings that effectively obstruct non-governmental organizations from doing their work.

The law, signed by President Vladimir Putin on Saturday, allows Moscow to force foreign media to brand news they provide to Russians as the work of foreign agents and to disclose their funding sources.

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