Open Russia Kazan Headquarters Raided by Anti-corruption Police

May 26, 2017

Investigators from Russia’s Economic Crimes unit conducted an unexpected raid today on the office of Open Russia’s Tatarstan coordinator Ilya Novikov.

The officers confiscated documents and technical office equipment as evidence.

Novikov has stated that at an earlier point he was ordered to go down to the Economic Crimes Department, bringing with him documents relating to the organisation’s activity.  “I brought them the documents, but this morning they decided that it wasn’t enough and so they came and confiscated all our computers and other equipment.”

Officers initially raided Novikov’s personal offices in advance of the “Enough” protests which took place on April 29, supposedly mistaking them for the offices of Open Russia.  “They illegally confiscated all our computers then, only returning them literally a three or four days ago.  Now they’ve taken them again.”

This is not the first unwarranted raid of the Open Russia movement’s property in recent weeks.  Last month the Russian Prosecutor General officially ruled the UK-based NGO Open Russia “undesirable”, making its activity practically illegal in the Russian Federation.

Their headquarters in Moscow were raided by unmarked investigators without a warrant who forbade access to lawyers and confiscated all equipment.

Daria Kulakova, Open Russia activist who spent 10 days in prison for her participation in the April 29 Enough demonstration, has said that “We believe that all of this is connected with Open Russia’s political activity, the fact that we are continuing to work here is annoying the authorities.”