Russian prosecutors have been ordered to hand over their international passports and seek special authorization for vacationing abroad, with travel permitted to only a handful of countries such as China and Vietnam, a human rights activist said.
Pavel Chikov, the head of the Agora human rights association, said in a Twitter message Tuesday that prosecutors had been told to turn in their passports used for foreign travel.
"Some have refused and are awaiting dismissal," he added, saying that vacationing was permitted in China, Vietnam, Tunisia and Montenegro.
"You come in, show a ticket to China, they hand out [the passport], you go," he said in another message.
In an interview with Govorit Moskva, Chikov said the new regulation had been initiated by the Prosecutor General's Office.
However, St. Petersburg's Fontanka news portal reported Tuesday that the city and district prosecutor offices had denied receiving such orders. The Prosecutor General's Office declined to comment, Govorit Moskva reported.
Chikov said he did not know the reason for the travel restriction, according to Govorit Moskva.
Earlier this year, the Foreign Ministry warned Russians against traveling abroad amid a deterioration in Russia's relations with the West — a warning repeated at the end of May by the Supreme Court, which issued a memo to its judges advising them to stay home during the summer holidays.