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Amnesty staffers arrived for work for find their office door sealed on November 2.

Staff of the rights watchdog Amnesty International can return to their Moscow office they were evicted from, Reuters news agency quotes a Kremlin human rights adviser as saying.

Moscow authorities sealed off Amnesty’s office on November 2, barring staff from entry.

The Moscow property department, from which Amnesty leases the premises, said it was owed rent, but the London-based group said payments were up to date and that the lockout came without warning.

Mikhail Fedotov, head of the Russian Human Rights Council, told Reuters on November 3 that “the lease has been restored completely.”

“[Amnesty] will be able to return to the office in the nearest future," Fedotov added.

Meanwhile, Amnesty's Europe director, John Dalhuisen, said the group had been contacted by the head of the Moscow city property department, Vladimir Yefimov, who said there may have been a mix-up.

Dalhuisen also said Yefimov invited Amnesty for a meeting on November 7.

Human rights organizations that receive foreign funding and are critical of the Kremlin have come under pressure from the Russian authorities in the past few years.

Based on reporting by Reuters
Journalist Yaqoob Sharafat was killed in Zabul on October 16.

Officials in Afghanistan say a roadside bomb has killed an Afghan journalist and wounded another in the southern province of Helmand.

The explosion took place in the provincial capital of Lashkar Gah on November 4.

Police said the blast killed Naimatullah Zaheer, a reporter with the Aryana news television station.

The identify of Zaheer's wounded colleague was not immediately known.

The reporters were among a group of journalists driving to an area where there had been intense fighting with the Taliban the previous night.

According to the Afghan Journalists Safety Committee, 2016 has been the bloodiest year for journalists in the history of Afghanistan, with 10 reporters killed in the first six months of the year.

On October 16, in the southern province of Zabul, unknown gunmen shot dead Afghan reporter Yaqoob Sharafat of the the state-run Radio Television Afghanistan.

Based on reporting by AP and Pajhwok

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"Watchdog" is a blog with a singular mission -- to monitor the latest developments concerning human rights, civil society, and press freedom. We'll pay particular attention to reports concerning countries in RFE/RL's broadcast region.


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