Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law legislation granting the Russian government the authority to shut down NGOs that it deems “undesirable.” The new law extends mainly to foreign NGOs and affords the government the leeway to fine and restrict their activities if it views them as illicit or in violation of the new law. The ability to shutter NGOs enshrined in the new legislation will have the effect of hardening existing legislation passed by the Duma in 2012 that labeled foreign NGOs “foreign agents.”
The new law has been predictably panned by human rights activists concerned that it will serve as the coup de grace to an already febrile Russian civil society sector. The number of organizations listed as “undesirable” currently stands at 60, although it is probable that many other organizations will be added to the registry in the coming months.
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- Militants in the Indian region of Kashmir attacked and killed four Indian soldiers and a civilian near state-owned telecommunications stores. In total there were two attacks in Kashmir, both taking place in Sopore, in the region’s north. The militants involved are reported to have crossed recently from the Pakistani side of the border.
- Turkmenistan unveiled a new golden statue of its leader, Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, carrying a dove and riding a horse atop a monument in the shape of a cliff. The structure, reaching 69 feet in height, is one of many such structures built to honor Turkmen leaders, though one of the first to have been constructed for Berdymukhamedov.
- Iranian oil output will increase by 170,000 barrels per day as a result of new development at the North Azadegan and Yadarvaran oilfields. The announcement was made by Soltan Kamali, the managing director of Arvandan Oil and Gas Company, one of many subsidiaries of Iran’s state-owned National Iranian Petroleum Company. The boost in production is expected to increase exponentially if a nuclear deal is reached.
- The Uzbek parliament has developed a plan to amend provisions of its tax code that govern companies established by its citizens outside of the country. The law, if enacted, will create “another barrier” to prevent the illicit accumulation of profits offshore. The announcement came during a meeting of the Eurasian Group on Combatting Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism.