13:06 Nov. 2, 2016
NGO's staff blocked from the building for unknown reason
The Moscow office of Amnesty International human rights group has been sealed off by municipal officials, the NGO's press officer Alexander Artemyev reported on November 2.
Artemyev said that staff members found their office closed when they came to work on Wednesday morning. Official seals had been placed on the door, the locks had been changed, signaling system and power to the office had been cut off.
He added that no prior warning was given. Amnesty International has been renting the office for the past 20 years, and made rent payments in time.
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 labelled as "foreign agents" which makes them subject to intense scrutiny from officials.
The office was closed down just a day after Amnesty International called on Russian authorities to immediately release Ildar Dadin, a peaceful street protester imprisoned for participation in "unauthorized" assemblies.
In a letter to his wife, Dadin said he was subjected to torture, beatings and threats in the prison where he is serving his 2.5-year sentence.
With reporting by Reuters