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Russian advocacy group ‘Nasiliu.net’ forced to vacate office space where they help victims of domestic violence

Source: Nasiliu.net

The landlord who rents out office space to the anti-domestic violence group “Nasiliu.net” (No to Violence) has demanded that they vacate the premises within a month. This was reported by the organization’s director Anna Rivina in an open letter published on Facebook.

According to Rivina, at the beginning of February the organization received a letter allegedly from the Federal Agency for State Property Management (Rosimushchestvo), requesting that they “urgently vacate the premises voluntarily” before February 10. The document didn’t include a signature or an official stamp, and Rosimushchestvo denied having anything to do with it. 

Later, the organization’s landlord showed up at their office during working hours on two separate occasions. The first time, he was accompanied by “several brothers in leather jackets” — the group explained that they had “dropped by for tea.” The second visit was allegedly required to measure the office space.

“Finally, we managed to meet with them and really talk. They basically told us that our activities didn’t suit them and that we have a month to vacate the premises. Now we have to move urgently before the end of the month and transfer all targeted assistance to some other premises, which we don’t have.”

Rivina underscored that their current office is where the organization receives victims of domestic violence, conducts support groups, and organizes educational events. In 2020 alone, Nasiliu.net offered consultations to 960 victims of domestic violence at this location. “A new office for such a large-scale organization — that’s a lot of money,” Rivina said.

In December 2020, the Russian Justice Ministry declared Nasiliu.net a “foreign agent.” “I’ll put it this way: we got hit 95 percent for the bill against violence, and 5 percent for LGBT propaganda,” Anna Rivina said in response to the decision. 

In early March, Anna Rivina appeared on the cover of TIME magazine’s “Women and the Pandemic” issue. The magazine’s article noted that Nasiliu.net faces “increasing hostility from the Kremlin and the Russian Orthodox Church.” 

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