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Head of Prisoner Rights Group Romanova Flees Russia After Fraud Charges

Olga Romanova (Zurab Javakhadze / TASS)

The head of the prisoner rights group Russia Behind Bars has fled to Germany after claiming she was falsely accused of embezzling state funds, the RBC business portal reported Wednesday.

Russia Behind Bars, a non-profit group founded in 2008, documents the mistreatment of prisoners in Russia.

Russia's Federal Corrections Service accused Olga Romanova of stealing state funds after searching her office in June.

The NGO head, who does not believe she will get a fair trial, traveled to France and Italy after the searches this summer. She is currently in Germany where she has reportedly received a job offer from a German foundation.

Referencing a Russian proverb, Romanova wrote of the accusations on Facebook on Wednesday: "to prove that you are not a camel, it is good to be a non-camel in freedom."

"That's why I immediately left after the searches," Romanova wrote.

Although she has taken a leave of absence, Romanova said the group will continue its work.

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