Human rights activist Lokshina, who received SMS threats, leaves Russia

The deputy director of the Human Rights Watch (HRW) organization's Moscow office, Tatyana Lokshina, who has been receiving threats via SMS messages, has left Russia.

"My departure has nothing to do with these threats directly," Lokshina said on her Facebook page.

"A couple of days ago I flew to France from Moscow, as I had planned a long time ago. After this, before the end of October, I will officially go on maternity leave and join my husband, who has gone to America for a few months to write a book. We will return to Moscow at the beginning of spring," she said.

Lokshina expressed hope that those who sent her these text messages would be detained.

"I would like to hope that these people will be punished because this story of a pregnant woman who was blackmailed with her own bump looks just ugly in press reports," she said.

HRW Moscow office director Anna Sevortyan told Interfax that special services had already launched an inquiry into the SMS threats received by Lokshina.

"No SMS threats have been received in the past few days. An investigation has been started. We have received phone calls from Petrovka and the FSB. It can be just a preliminary inquiry, but, nevertheless, Tatyana has been asked to testify," she said.

Law enforcement agencies have so far been unavailable for comment.

The HRW Moscow office said on Oct. 4 that Lokshina, who works as an investigator, had been receiving threats via SMS messages, which mentioned her pregnancy and other details of her private life.

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