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Russian Rights Official Says Amnesty To Return To Moscow Office

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