8 July 2013
Source: HRO.org (info)
Acting mayor of Moscow Sergei Sobyanin has instructed his deputy Nataliya Sergunina to address the issue of finding new offices for the Movement For Human Rights. Aleksei Bachinsky, a correspondent for Kasparov.ru, reports, citing the Movement’s Executive Director, Lev Ponomarev.
According to the human rights activist, the mayor responded “favourably” to his request to allocate For Human Rights new premises, but avoided discussing the eviction that had taken place. Ponomarev has not yet read the official response to his request, but stated that the matter has been assigned to Sergunina, who will be returning from annual leave in a week’s time in order to speak with him. Previously, Ponomarev had submitted an appeal requesting that his organization be allocated new premises comparable to those from which it has been evicted.
The appeal referred to the facts that For Human Rights “had been operating in the city for fourteen years and had never received any complaints,” and that the eviction had been carried out illegally and without valid grounds.
On 5 July, Vladimir Putin said that he hoped the human rights organisation could be allocated new offices.
On the night of 22 June employees of a private security firm, with no court order but with the support of riot police, forcibly evicted the Movement For Human Rights from its offices. The press service of the Moscow city property department stated that the office on Maly Kozlovsky pereulok had been seized owing to the expiration of the lease.
Ponomarev maintains that the lease had not been terminated, and that not only did For Human Rights not owe any money to the city, but had paid its rent up until August. The human rights defender submitted a statement to the police alleging he hand his colleagues had been victims of criminal offences - during the eviction, office staff had been hit and the involvement of riot police was illegal.
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