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Amnesty International to return to Moscow office earlier sealed by authorities

November 18, 2016, 13:49 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, November 18. /TASS/. Staff of Russia’s representation of Amnesty International will return to their office in Moscow, head of the Russian branch of the international human rights organization Sergey Nikitin said on Friday.

The organization reached a "constructive dialogue" with Moscow’s property department due to the assistance of the head of Russia’s presidential human rights council, Mikhail Fedotov, he said.

"Today I will sign a new agreement and I hope we will return to our office where we haven’t been for 16 days," Nikitin said. The conflict with the Moscow property department was called a "technical error."

On November 2, Nikitin said that the Moscow office of Amnesty International was sealed with a notice from municipal authorities warning people not to enter. The staff had no access to their telephones, computers and personal belongings.

The organization has been renting the office belonging to Moscow’s property department for many years. No reasons behind the move were announced. Nikitin claimed that the organization had always paid its rent on time, including in October.

The press service of Moscow’s property department said the rental agreement with Amnesty International was canceled in 2015 and three months later the rent arrears reached more than 460,000 rubles ($7,000).

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