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Russian Electoral Rights Group Leader's Property Seized

  • RFE/RL's Russian Service

SAMARA, Russia -- Russian police have evicted a regional leader of the independent electoral-rights group Golos (Voice) from her apartment and impounded other property in a tax-evasion case she says is politically motivated.

Lyudmila Kuzmina told RFE/RL on March 30 that investigators in the Volga city of Samara had sealed her apartment and impounded her car.

Law enforcement authorities claim the Samara region branch of Golos owes at least 2 million rubles ($34,500) in taxes.

Golos has irked President Vladimir Putin's government by documenting claims of violations in key votes, including a fraud-marred 2011 parliamentary election that sparked a wave of street protests.

Golos has faced pressure from the authorities for years.

Earlier in March, a Samara court upheld a previous decision to fine the regional branch for failing to register as a "foreign agent," a designation forced on groups that receive foreign funding and are deemed to be involved in political activity.