09:55 GMT +3 hours28 November 2014
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Russian Memorial Rights Group to Defy Law on Foreign Agents

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Russian rights group Memorial said on Friday it will not comply with the new law that is likely to class it as “a foreign agent.”

Russian rights group Memorial said on Friday it will not comply with the new law that is likely to class it as “a foreign agent.”

“Memorial will not take part in an action aimed at destroying Russian society, and will not distribute knowingly false data about itself. If [the authorities] demand that our organization be put on a list of foreign agents, we will oppose this, first of all in courts,” Memorial said in a statement.

“We are a human rights organization and we will do everything to defend the law being guided by the law,” it said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed in July a law forcing non-governmental organizations (NGO) engaged in political activity with foreign financing to be classed as "foreign agents."

The new law, due to come into force in November, has been met with criticism from Russian human rights organizations who say a series of Kremlin-backed laws is an attempt to suppress opposition.

Under the new legislation, NGOs would have to publish a biannual report on their activities and carry out an annual financial audit. Failure to comply with the law could result in four-year jail sentences and/or fines of up to 300,000 rubles ($9,200).

In July, another NGO, the Movement for Human Rights, said it might defy the new law.