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Moscow Offices of Human Rights Watch Searched

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Russian authorities searched the Moscow offices of U.S.-based Human Rights Watch on Wednesday, the latest in a wave of inspections targeting non-governmental organizations.

Officials from the Russian Prosecutor General's Office and the tax control service also searched the offices in the Russian capital of Transparency International, the Berlin-based anti-corruption watchdog.

Russian media reported Wednesday that prosecutors in the Russian republic of Tartarstan had searched the offices of Agora, a local human rights group.

On Monday, Russian prosecutors and tax police conducted an unannounced audit of the Moscow offices of Amnesty International, the London-based human rights group. Last week, officials in Moscow searched offices belonging to Memorial, one of Russia's oldest human rights groups.

European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton on Tuesday called the wave of inspections of NGOs in Russia "worrisome since the seem to be aimed at further undermining civil society activities in the country."

A law signed by President Vladimir Putin last July requires NGOs that receive overseas financial support and engage in "political activity" to register with the Justice Minister as "foreign agents." Critics say the law is designed to intimidate Kremlin opponents.

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by: adipocere from: Alabama
March 27, 2013 12:21 PM
NGO's are the primary source of political corruption in the US, and fronts for all sorts of dubious things. There is nothing "worrisome" about another country that doesn't wish to privatize their entire civil service sector, or sell it off to US think tanks. Personally, I think it's amusing that CIA operatives/assets might have to register as "foreign agents."
In Response

by: Radu Barbulescu
March 30, 2013 7:44 AM
Withou doubt is that Russia allways answers as old Stalin used to say: "Trust them, it's o. k.... but controll them is much more better". Nothing new under the Sun, apparatchicks for ever...

by: Whys from: Between the Lines
March 27, 2013 11:26 AM
Save yourselves Russians. Your civil society is being buried underground.
In Response

by: Radu Barbulescu
April 01, 2013 5:10 AM
A Russsian civil society would be wonderfull - but it never existed...
In Response

by: Oolith from: USA
March 27, 2013 12:16 PM
A law signed by President Vladimir Putin last July requires NGOs that receive overseas financial support and engage in "political activity" to register with the Justice Minister as "foreign agents."

That is a legitimate request.

It is common knowledge that certain agencies are used as a front. Take peace Corps for example, They present themselves as benevolent, but their core value is to instill "Americanism" & that is very reminiscent of giving blankets to the indigenous people of the Americas.

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