Author of the amendments State Duma Deputy Alexander Sidyakin
Non-governmental organizations funded by foreign donors and involved in ”political” activity face hefty fines and jail terms if they fail to register on a state list, under plans drawn up by ruling party United Russia.
The amendments to the law on NGOs, officially submitted to the State Duma on Friday, open a new front in the struggle between the government and civil society groups, following the passing of a law earlier this month that drastically increases the fines for illegal demonstrations.
The proposals, drafted by United Russia Duma Deputy Alexander Sidyakin, would require all non-governmental organizations receiving funding from abroad and engaged in ”political” activities to register on a special list as “foreign agents”. These NGOs would also have to publish a report of their activities every six months and undertake an annual financial audit.
Any organizations failing to register within 90 days of the law coming into force would be liable to civil and criminal penalties, the deputy told RIA-Novosti on Friday. The penalties included a maximum prison sentence of four years, fines up to 300,000 rubles ($9,128) or 480 hours of mandatory community service.