Offices Of Prison Rights Group Searched In Moscow

Law enforcement authorities have carried out an unannounced search at the Moscow office of a Russian human rights organization that advocates for inmates.

Olga Romanova, the director of Rus Sidyashchaya, told RFE/RL that officers of the Moscow police directorate for economic security and the fight against corruption searched the group's headquarters and seized documents related to its financial activities.

Romanova also said that the officers said the search was linked to an investigation into alleged embezzlement of state budget funds.

A coordinator with the organization, Aleksei Fedyarov, told RFE/RL that there were no grounds for the police to search the group's office as it receives no financial support from the state.

Police and city officials have not commented.

Rus Sidyashchaya, whose name can be translated as Russia Behind Bars, defends the rights of inmates in Russian jails and prisons.

Kremlin critics say President Vladimir Putin's government uses police searches, snap investigations, and other measures by law enforcement agencies to harass opponents and activists.

With reporting by RBK, Interfax, and TASS