International human rights organization Freedom House condemned adoption by the Verkhovna Rada on January 16 the law that restrict rights and freedoms, and called President of Ukraine Victor Yanukovych not to sign it.

It is said in the statement publicized at the web site of the organization.

“Freedom House strongly condemns the approval by Ukraine’s Rada (parliament) of legislation that criminalizes libel, imposes Russian-style “foreign agent” restrictions on civil society groups receiving foreign funding, and punishes civic participation in protests.

Freedom House calls on the Speaker of the Rada, Volodymyr Rybak, and Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych to reject the legislation, which would violate Ukraine’s commitments to uphold universal human rights”, it is said in the statement.

“It is disheartening to watch the democratically elected government of Ukraine moving further away from the democratic aspirations of the people of Ukraine,” said David J. Kramer, president of Freedom House.

According to his opinion, if laws adopted yesterday come into force “dark times” await Ukraine.