Office of “Memorial” in St. Petersburg seized


The office of the human rights research and information centre “Memorial” has been closed off by identified individuals. Reports over the last couple of hours have been confirmed by Stefaniya Kulayeva who works for “Memorial”.  She says that at about midday people in masks and with batons entered the office and forced the people working there to leave. At present there are only four members of staff present who are not being allowed to use the phones.

It is known that a search is being carried out and that the visitors are removing hard disks from the computer centre. The human rights defenders believe that the visit by the enforcement officers is linked with the publication of the journal “New Petersburg” including the text “Here you have the real president”, published on 21 June 2007.

There has been no comment from law enforcement bodies in the city. According to unconfirmed reforms, the search is being carried out by the prosecutor’s office.

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