220px Vladimir Putin 12015 Russia labels nonprofits as foreign agents

Russian legislators have recently passed a controversial Internet bill that the United Nations feel will impede the ongoing open conversations between the government and its people.

Russian legislators have recently passed a controversial Internet bill that the United Nations feel will impede the ongoing open conversations between the government and its people. 

According to The New York Times, the new bill will allow the Russian government to block websites that are considered “dangerous to children,” and nonprofits will be identified as “foreign agents” if they receive financing from outside of Russia and if the government considers the organization to be engaged in “political activities.”

Navi Pillay, UN’s high commissioner for human rights, says that the legislations are “stif[ling] all criticism of government authorities and limit the ability of individuals to address the issues of transparency, corruption and abuse of power.”

She also urged the Russian government to “avoid taking further steps backward to a more restrictive era.”

The Russian Foreign Ministry responded by saying:

“We consider Ms. Pillay’s statement as unbefitting to her status as high commissioner and attempts to publicly accuse the leaders of the Russian state of failing to carry out some kinds of ‘promises’ — as outside the framework of diplomatic ethics.”

United Russia deputy, Aleksandr Petrov, added—in a less hostile tone:

“We have one goal: to try, with the help of a number of laws, to create a certain stability, to provide for the integrity of the Russian Federation.  Yes, there should be political activity, but it should not be allowed to rock the boat which is called Russia.”

President Vladimir V. Putin has seen increasing opposition from various individuals, groups, and organizations, as he begins his six-year term, and the recent initiatives and legislations are perhaps to help bring about stability during his presidency—nothing should “rock the boat which is called Russia.”

Reference: The New York Times