Russian police and agents of a private security firm are currently attempting to evict the prominent Russian civil society group For Human Rights from their premises in Moscow The activists are refusing to leave the office.
For Human Rights has been involved in discussions with Moscow City authorities – its landlord – about the extension of the lease for some months, but maintains that it had not received any notice of the termination of their contract prior to eviction order presented today by the private security firm contracted by the municipal authorities.
Amnesty International’s observer, who is currently witnessing the eviction, said: “In Russia, we have witnessed how authorities are using every trick in the box to stop human rights activists criticising their policies. The attempt to evict ‘For Human Rights’ from publicly owned offices seems to be yet another attempt to block their important human rights work.”
The new law forces NGOs who receive foreign funding to register as an “organisation performing the functions of a foreign agent”. In recent months, Russian authorities have raided dozens of civil society organisations, imposed hefty fines on several of them and warned over thirty more.
The organisation has been repeatedly targeted under Russia’s restrictive new NGO law passed in November 2012.