Moscow office of Amnesty International sealed off

The office door of rights group Amnesty International is sealed off in Moscow, Russia, The office door of rights group Amnesty International is sealed off in Moscow, Russia, November 2, 2016. REUTERS/Maxim Zmeyev

MOSCOW (Reuters) – The Moscow office of rights group Amnesty International has been sealed off by municipal officials without warning and staff cannot get inside, the group said on Wednesday.

Alexander Artemyev, a staff member, told Reuters that official seals had been placed on the entrances to the office, the locks had been changed, and that power to the office had been cut off.

An official notice left behind said the building was city property and that nobody was allowed to enter without being accompanied by a municipal official.

John Dalhuisen, Amnesty International’s Europe Director, said he did not know what had prompted Moscow authorities to seal off the office, calling it “an unwelcome surprise.”

“Given the current climate for civil society work in Russia, there are clearly any number of plausible explanations, but it’s too early to draw any conclusions,” Dalhuisen said in a statement.

“We are working to resolve the situation as swiftly as possible and very much hope there is a simple administrative explanation for this setback to our work.”

Amnesty, which was founded in London, frequently criticizes the Russian authorities over what it says are human rights violations. It said it was confident it had fulfilled all its obligations as a tenant.

A representative of the Moscow state property department, from which Amnesty rents the office, said they had no immediate comment.

Rights groups that receive foreign funding and are critical of the Kremlin have come under pressure from the authorities in the past few years. Some have been designated as “foreign agents” which makes them subject to intense scrutiny from officials.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said he was unaware of Amnesty’s office problems.

(Reporting by Svetlana Reiter; Writing by Christian Lowe/Andrew Osborn; Editing by Christian Lowe)

One thought on “Moscow office of Amnesty International sealed off

  1. Soo awsome to read available info from Jim and Lori Bakker! Been watching PTL since a child and am now 52. Have followed Jim and Lori’s advice regarding getting and being prepared for what comes our way and is already unravelling world wide. The earthquakes in Oklahoma have been something else!! Learned on our local Fox News today that geologist have solar equipment placed in strategic places in our areas of interest and just tonight announced Oklahomans should get ready for ALOT of shaking…the activity detected and info gathered from the most recent earthquake 2 days ago is much more than just significant. It has shown to be a record breaking event that tops the last 200 years in Oklahoma. God bless your ministry and GO DONALD TRUMPH!!!!!!!!! Oklahoma ranks last on the list of ALL STATES for voter turnout says Fox 23 but PRAISE GOD!!! WE ARE BREAKING ALL-TIME RECORDS TO VOTE beginning tomorrow! There are 70+ year olds now registered to vote that HAVE NEVER VOTED IN THEIR LIVES and they are voting for TRUMPH!!! Hillary is going to have to lump it and cannot believe Obama has commercials on tonight telling African Americans it wasn’t that long ago they were whipped in slavery…wow…exciting times!!! Jesus is watching and I am looking!!!!!!! Love all of you in the Hills of Missouri!!!!!!!

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