Security services searching apartments of 2 rights activists in Voronezh

Law enforcement agencies are searching the apartments of two human rights activists in Voronezh on Wednesday morning, Alexander Cherkasov, the head of the Memorial human rights center, told Interfax.

"Searches are under way at Natalya Zvyagina's and Alexander Boldyrev's apartments," he said.

Zvyagina is a prominent Russian human rights activist working for the Voronezh branch of Transparency International, who particularly explored election abuses.

Lawyer Olga Gnezdilova said on Facebook on Wednesday that the searches at Zvyagina's and Boldyrev's apartments have something to do with "the criminal case against Udaltsov, Razvozzhayev, and Lebedev."

Zvyagina, whose mobile phone was switched off, said on Facebook that the searches were being conducted by Interior Ministry extremism department officials, who had a search warrant sanctioned by a court.

"The E center [the anti-extremism service] said it will [examine] all electronic storage devices," Zvyagina said on Facebook.

"I don't know how Zvyagina and Boldyrev are related to the case against Udaltsov, Razvozzhayev and Lebedev," Cherkasov told Interfax.

Interfax has yet to obtain official comments on the issue from law enforcement agencies.

Lyudmila Alexeyeva, the head of Moscow Helsinki Group, the oldest Russian human rights organization, had told Interfax earlier she was worried by the fact that security services tended to search opposition and civic activists' apartments early in the morning of late.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev also expressed his disapproval of such methods recently.

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