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Interior Ministry apologizes to ombudsman for entry prevention

June 24, 2013, 12:53 UTC+3

On the night to June 22, Moscow’s authorities evicted the movement For Human Rights from its office in central Moscow

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MOSCOW, June 24 (Itar-Tass) - Russian First Deputy Interior Minister Alexander Gorovoi on Monday made an official apology to Russian Human Rights Commissioner Vladimir Lukin for the incident that took place outside the office of the movement For Human Rights headed by Lev Ponomaryov.

Opening the meeting of the coordination council of Russian human rights commissioners, Gorovoi apologized to Lukin for the fact that he was not allowed to enter the office of the human rights organization on the night from Friday to Saturday.

The deputy minister added that he would not give his assessment and comment instead of the Moscow police chief, but said he hoped the situation would be analyzed in detail soon.

Lukin accepted the apology. “We understand that everything happens in service.” But he said there was a request for the ministry’s personnel to be aware that there is a post entitled to settle such affairs. Then, there will be no such incidents, the ombudsman noted.

On the night to June 22, Moscow’s authorities evicted the movement For Human Rights from its office in central Moscow. Earlier, the Moscow city property management committee’s press service told Itar-Tass that the premises occupied by human rights activists, Building 7, Maly Kislovksy Pereulok, were property of the city and the lease period expired on February 15, 2013.

The demand to vacate the premises was not satisfied. So, an operation was conducted on June 21 to evict the organization, departmental officials explained.

Leader of the human rights organization Lev Ponomaryov believes the actions of the authorities are unlawful. “We really have a property dispute, but we have the right to remain in the premises until the court makes a ruling,” he said.

According to the Interior Ministry, the eviction was conducted by forces of personnel of private security companies.

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