Police raid office of prominent Russian NGO

Associated Press

MOSCOW (AP) — Police are raiding the office of one of Russia's leading human rights organizations and attempting to evict it.

Dozens of police officers stormed the headquarters of the For Human Rights movement on Friday, changed the locks on the doors, and told employees to leave, Lev Ponomaryov, the group's leader, told the ITAR-Tass news agency.

Officials in the Moscow's mayor office said the group had rented the office from the city and the lease ended in February.

Ponomarev said the group has had a dispute over the property with the city, but has the right to remain there until a pending court case is resolved.

Russia has raided hundreds of non-governmental organizations in recent months, some under a law on "foreign agents" that activists say is aimed at stifling dissent.

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