Russians search Amnesty Intl office in Moscow - New York News

Russians search Amnesty Intl office in Moscow

Posted: Updated:

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian prosecutors and tax police searched the Moscow headquarters of Amnesty International and several other rights groups Monday, continuing a wave of pressure that activists say is part of President Vladimir Putin's attempt to stifle dissent.

Sergei Nikitin, Amnesty's Russia chief, told The Associated Press that officials from the general prosecutor's office and tax police conducted an unannounced audit of his offices. Nikitin said the officials requested documents from the human rights watchdog that the government already has on file.

They were accompanied by journalists from the state-controlled NTV television station, which has been used by the Kremlin for hatchet jobs against its political foes.

Other rights groups were also subject to searches.

Veteran activist Lev Ponomarev's For Human Rights movement was also visited by officials and an NTV crew on Monday. He wrote a letter to the Moscow prosecutor's office calling the search illegal, since prosecutors provided no evidence that his organization broke the law.

Public Verdict, a well-known human rights law group, was also searched Monday.

Putin has long been suspicious of NGOs, especially those with American funding, which he has accused of being fronts for U.S. meddling in Russian politics.

After he returned to the presidency in May, parliament rubber-stamped a Kremlin-backed law requiring all NGOs who receive foreign funding to register as "foreign agents," a term that many Russians find pejorative.

Russian officials have searched up to 2,000 non-governmental organizations nationwide in the past month, according to Pavel Chikov, a member of the presidential human rights council.

The searches began after Putin gave a speech urging the Federal Security Service to focus attention on groups receiving foreign funding, which he said were "putting pressure on Russia."

Although the Justice Ministry said it was unenforceable earlier this year, it told the Interfax news agency on Monday that the searches were being carried out in line with the foreign agents law.

According to Chikov, however, many organizations have been checked under another, vaguely worded law on "extremism," including by agencies that have nothing to do with enforcing it, like the fire service and the health department.

The U.S. Embassy, Amnesty, the presidential human rights council and Public Verdict have all expressed concern over the wave of searches.

 

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Times Square, 1 WTC go gold for childhood cancer awareness

    Times Square, 1 WTC go gold for childhood cancer awareness

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 10:20 PM EDT2014-09-03 02:20:23 GMT
    Things are looking up for cute little Cami King. Not only is her cancer in remission, she also just got to meet Mickey, Minnie and Elmo in Times Square. But, if you can believe it, there's something else this 4-year-old is even more excited about: Times Square is going gold. The chairman of the Times Square Advertising Coalition announced the crossroads of the world is going to light up in gold to raise awareness for pediatric cancer research.
    Things are looking up for cute little Cami King. Not only is her cancer in remission, she also just got to meet Mickey, Minnie and Elmo in Times Square. But, if you can believe it, there's something else this 4-year-old is even more excited about: Times Square is going gold. The chairman of the Times Square Advertising Coalition announced the crossroads of the world is going to light up in gold to raise awareness for pediatric cancer research.
  • Lawyer says family of girl with Uzi is devastated

    Lawyer says family of girl with Uzi is devastated

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 10:00 PM EDT2014-09-03 02:00:24 GMT
    An attorney for the parents of a 9-year-old girl who accidentally killed an Arizona shooting range instructor with an Uzi say the family is devastated by the tragedy that occurred on a brief excursion during a...
    An attorney for the parents of a 9-year-old girl who accidentally killed an Arizona shooting range instructor with an Uzi say the family is devastated by the tragedy that occurred on a brief excursion during a vacation.
  • Deadly crash in Lincoln Tunnel

    Deadly crash in Lincoln Tunnel

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 8:15 PM EDT2014-09-03 00:15:54 GMT

    Officials say a New Jersey man has died from injuries he suffered in a chain-reaction crash inside one of the tubes of the Lincoln Tunnel.  Port Authority of New York and New Jersey police spokesman Joe Pentangelo says the 49-year-old Summit resident was among three people hurt in the accident.


    Officials say a New Jersey man has died from injuries he suffered in a chain-reaction crash inside one of the tubes of the Lincoln Tunnel.  Port Authority of New York and New Jersey police spokesman Joe Pentangelo says the 49-year-old Summit resident was among three people hurt in the accident.



Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices