Citizens' Watch staff face pressure from FSB

posted 20 Feb 2016, 11:32 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 20 Feb 2016, 11:42 ]
15 February 2016

Source: (info)
Elena Shakhova, head of the well-known human rights group in St Petersburg, Citizens’ Watch, has reported on her blog on Facebook that FSB officers called on Maria Razumovskaya, deputy chair of the organization, at her home to ‘ask questions about the “foreign agent” NGO.’ 

‘A few days ago, the neighbourhood police officer phoned Maria Razumovskaya, deputy chair of Citizens’ Watch,’ Elena Shakhova writes,’ and said that a complaint had been received from neighbours that there was a lot of noise going on at night.

‘We joked that we didn't know as much about Masha as we thought we did. Today the local police officer came to Masha’s apartment in the company of two FSB officers. He said that there are no problems regarding the complaint, because the person who complained actually lives in a different building. He departed, leaving Masha in the company of two young FSB officers.

‘The two officers showed Masha their ID and said they "would like to ask some questions about her work in an organization that has been designated a foreign agent." 

‘Masha refused to talk unofficially. Tomorrow she expects to receive a formal summons by phone or letter to go to the FSB for questioning. She will go with a lawyer.’

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Commentary by Sergei Nikitin of Amnesty International-Moscow:

‘Whenever I get a phone call from the "organs” I immediately say: Excuse me, but your voice sounds very similar to that of Nikolai Petrovich who lives in another part of our building and often plays tricks on me. To avoid any misunderstanding let’s go by the letter of the law of the Russian Federation that clearly sets out procedures for organizing meetings between citizens and law enforcement bodies. Since you have called me, you know the address. I’ll wait to receive a summons that it will be my pleasure to sign if I’m here. After saying that I never hear anything again from more than half of the callers.’

Translated by Simon Cosgrove