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Amnesty International to Return to Its Seized Moscow Office

The Russian branch of Amnesty International announced Friday its plans to return to its Moscow office, seized by the city authorities earlier this month.

“Today I’m going to sign a new rental contract, [the authorities] promised to open the office for us today, after 16 days of us not being able to get in,” Sergei Nikitin, director of the branch, said at a press conference.

He added that during negotiations between Amnesty International and the City Hall’s department of property, it became clear that the latter seized the office because of a mistake.

On Nov. 2 the Moscow office of Amnesty International was closed by city authorities. The electricity in the entryway had been turned off and new locks had been installed in the office’s door. A notice on the door stated that the office was now city property. Amnesty received no advance warning about the closure.

The international human rights organization has rented offices in a 19th century Moscow mansion for 20 years.

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