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A spokesperson for George Soros said the philanthropist has received no official communication from any government that would limit his ability to travel to any of the six countries mentioned.
The Open Society Foundations, which Soros founded, is banned in Russia.
Is billionaire and liberal philanthropist George Soros banned in six countries? A social media post made this claim and compared it with his status in the United States.
Soros "is banned in Russia, Pakistan, Turkey, Hungary, Poland, Philippines," an April 19 Instagram post read, using his image and an expletive in place of Soros’ name. "Ask yourself why six major countries have banned this traitor and not the USA where he continues to fund a communist insurrection."
The post was flagged as part of Meta’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)
Soros is not banned from any of these countries. "George Soros has not received any official communications from any government that would limit his ability to travel as an American citizen to any of those countries," Soros spokesperson Michael Vachon told PolitiFact in an email.
However, his charities were banned in one country and faced resistance elsewhere. Here’s what we found.
In November 2015, two branches of Soros’ charity network — the Open Society Foundations and the Open Society Institute Assistance Foundation — were banned by Russia, which said the organizations’ activities represented a "threat to the foundations of the constitutional system of the Russian Federation and the security of the state."
The Pakistani branch of the Open Society Foundations said it was ordered to close by Pakistan in December 2017. However, Laura Silber, vice president of advocacy and communications at Open Society Foundations, told PolitiFact the organization received a new memorandum of understanding and the foundation in Pakistan is still operational.
Meanwhile, the Open Society Foundations in Turkey announced its closure in November 2018 because of what it called "baseless" misrepresentations from the government about its work.
The Open Society Foundations left Hungary, Soros’ birthplace, in May 2018, because of "an increasingly repressive political and legal environment." Silber said they are not banned from the country.
In June 2018, Hungary’s parliament passed a suite of bills called "Stop Soros," which criminalized the act of aiding undocumented immigrants seeking asylum in the country. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán claimed Soros instigated mass immigration to the country, particularly Muslim immigration.
In 2019, a group that included Soros considered acquiring Radio Zet, Poland’s second-largest radio station, but Poland’s government signaled that it would try to prevent the deal in what it said was an effort to boost local media ownership, Bloomberg News reported. The group later bought into Eurozet, the owner of Radio Zet.
A rumor circulated in May 2017 that former Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte told Soros "there is a bounty on your head in these islands." But this was traced to an article by NewsPunch, a site known for spreading misinformation.
Silber told PolitiFact that apart from Russia, the Open Society Foundations have not been banned in any of the countries mentioned in the claim.
We rate this claim Mostly False.
Instagram post, April 19, 2023
Reuters, Russia bans George Soros foundation as state security 'threat', Nov. 30, 2015
Reuters, Pakistan orders George Soros foundation, other aid groups to close, Dec. 13, 2017
Open Society Foundations in Turkey fact sheet, May 31, 2019
Open Society Foundations, The Open Society Foundations to Close International Operations in Budapest, May 15, 2018
NPR, Hungary Passes 'Stop Soros' Laws, Bans Aid To Undocumented Immigrants, June 20, 2018
Bloomberg, Poland May Block Soros Group From Buying Big Radio Station, Jan. 28, 2019
Deutsche Welle, Soros buys into independent Polish media, Feb. 26, 2019
Archived NewsPunch article, President Duterte Warns George Soros ‘There Is A Bounty On Your Head’, May 6, 2017
Check Your Fact, FACT CHECK: Has George Soros Been Banned From Six Countries?, Oct. 2, 2020
Email interview, Michael Vachon, spokesperson for George Soros, April 20, 2023
Email interview, Laura Silber, Open Society Foundations Vice President for Advocacy and Communications, April 20, 2023
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