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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Police Seize SPS Election Booklets

Union of Right Forces said Thursday that police had seized 14 million copies of its officially approved campaign booklet in more than 20 regions this week.

In an entry on his LiveJournal blog, party leader Nikita Belykh said police justified the confiscations by saying it was necessary to examine the campaign materials for content possibly violating extremism or anti-monopoly laws.

The Neo-Print printing house in Moscow, which prints most of the campaign materials for Union of Right Forces, or SPS, was raided by police on Thursday and had its operations suspended pending inspections expected to last at least until Dec. 2, when State Duma elections will be held, he wrote.

A woman who answered the phone Thursday at Neo-Print said the company was operating as usual and declined to confirm whether it was raided by police.

An SPS spokeswoman could not specify which police department had conducted the raid.

Meanwhile, Vadim Gologuzov, a senior police official in Krasnoyarsk, said his officers had seized 2 million copies of the party's booklet because it contained an advertisement in violation of election laws, Interfax reported. In Izhevsk, police official Nikolai Shvetsov said police had seized 800,000 copies after an anonymous caller reported a hostage-taking in a garage, Interfax reported. Police found no hostages in the garage, only the campaign materials, which were confiscated to establish their legality.