Prosecutors, Tax Inspectors, TV Target Russian Rights Group

MOSCOW, March 21 (RIA Novosti) – Russian prosecutors and tax inspectors showed up Thursday at the offices of the respected human rights group Memorial to launch a “ comprehensive check,” the organization’s press secretary said, adding that they were accompanied by reporters from pro-government NTV television.

“Representatives of the tax service, Justice Ministry and prosecutor’s office came, and somehow an NTV film crew wound up coming with them,” Memorial spokeswoman Yulia Klimova told RIA Novosti.

The NTV crew left the office after Memorial staff called the police, she said. Over the past year, the channel has produced a series of documentary-style specials filled with unconfirmed allegations against opposition figures. Memorial has often been critical of the Kremlin and Russian authorities, particularly their human rights records.

Since President Vladimir Putin’s return to the Kremlin in last spring, a slew of new legislation has tightened various reporting requirements for nongovernmental organizations, especially those with funding from non-Russian sources.

Updated to disambiguate, changing “state-controlled” to “pro-government.”

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