EU presidency makes a statement on raid in “Memorial” office


The European Union said on Wednesday it was deeply concerned about a raid on a St. Petersburg-based human rights group this month and urged Moscow to let it work freely.
Staff at the group, Memorial, said armed and masked state investigators raided its offices in Russia’s second city on December 4 and seized computers and documents.
Among material seized was a history of political repression in the Soviet Union and a computer-based tour of Stalin-era forced work camps or gulags, the organisation said.
A statement from the French EU presidency said the raid, days before the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on Wednesday, "sends out a negative signal".
It said the work of the group to safeguard the memory of Stalin’s victims and protect human rights were internationally recognized and acclaimed.
"The European Union urges the Russian authorities to guarantee the freedom of action of this organisation... It is very concerned at the use of the law on extremism against this association," the statement said.

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