04:33 GMT +316 November 2018
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    Council of Europe Head Calls on Russia to Amend Law on 'Foreign Agent' Media

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland called on Russia to amend its law on foreign agent" status for media after the New Times magazine was slapped with “excessive” fine.

    On Thursday, a court in Moscow has fined the New Times 22 million rubles (over $300,000) over the failure to report to the Russian media watchdog about receiving funds from foreign donors. The New Times’ editor-in-chief Yevgenia Albats said that the fine practically means forced bankruptcy for the magazine.

    “A judgment this past Friday by the Tverskoy Court in Moscow condemning The New Times to an unprecedented fine of 22.5m rubles (about 300,000€) threatens the very existence of this well-known weekly news outlet […] Furthermore, the legislative justification for this fine, related to so-called foreign agent legislation that the Council of Europe has criticized in previous cases in the past, should be re-examined by the Russian authorities. The Council of Europe is ready to assist Russia in this respect,” Jagland said in a statement, obtained by Sputnik.

    In November, 2017 Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law on assigning the "foreign agent" status for media which are funded by foreign states or organizations.

    The law was drafted in response to the pressure put on Russian media in the United States. RT America, in particular, had to register as a "foreign agent" at the demand of the US Department of Justice.

    READ MORE: Ria Global, Producer of Sputnik's Content Registered as Foreign Agent in US

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    Tags:
    media law, foreign agent, fine, The New Times, Council of Europe, Thorbjorn Jagland, Yevgenia Albats, EU, Russia
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