Friday, January 27, 2006

Putin throws spy rock at NGOs

Timothy Garton Ash warns of the dangers of the Moscow spy rock to NGOs in the country:

This comes at a moment when Russia has just passed a law giving the Kremlin far-reaching powers to monitor and control NGOs, including the right to suspend them should they threaten Russia's sovereignty or independence. Colonel Sergei Ignatchenko, a spokesman for the Federal Security Service (FSB) claims that Marc Doe, one of the British diplomats alleged to be a secret rock operator, had authorised several payments to Russian NGOs, including £23,000 to the Moscow Helsinki Group. Lyudmila Alexeyeva of the Moscow Helsinki Group said: "They are preparing public opinion for a government move to close us down, which they can now do under the new law." Thus may Russia celebrate its presidency of the G8.

Meanwhile, Russia experts are claiming the rock is most likely a Kremlin plant.

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