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Activist Says Tax Authority Froze Charity Bank Accounts

An activist known as Doctor Liza says three bank accounts for her charity have been blocked by tax authorities, an action she suspects is linked to her role in the fair elections-promoting League of Voters, the group said on its website Wednesday.

Yelizaveta Glinka, who is known as Doctor Liza, told Kommersant-FM that the accounts for her charity fund Just Assistance had been blocked by the tax service although the fund has received no written notification about what happened from either the banks or authorities.

She said the tax service told Just Assistance's accountant by phone that the organization's accounts were being inspected for violations stemming from two years ago.

The activist said she suspects the tax check is linked to her participation in the newly formed League of Voters, which promotes fair elections in Russia.

The group's founding members include Glinka and a number of prominent opposition activists, including author Boris Akunin, journalist Olga Romanova and the coordinator of the Blue Buckets traffic protest group Pyotr Shkumatov.

"I am a very unsuspicious person, open. Olga Romanova and Boris Akunin told me that I should not be silent about this. I should not be silent because in terms of dates this coincides precisely," Glinka told the radio station, noting that the accounts were shut at the same time the League of Voters was formed on Jan 18.

Just Assistance, founded by Glinka in 2007, funds several homeless assistance programs, including ones that pay for medicine, personal hygiene products, clothes and food for those living on the street.

The fund cannot finance its programs while its accounts are blocked, Glinka said.

"Closing [them] without telling us is rather cruel, considering the frigid weather in Moscow right now," Glinka said.

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