MOSCOW, August 20 (RIA Novosti) - A fire broke out overnight in the office of a human rights organization in Russia's North Caucasus republic of Dagestan, the organization's head told RIA Novosti on Thursday.
"I found out there had been a fire when I arrived at the office at 9.30 this morning," Svetlana Isaeva, head of the "Mothers of Dagestan for Human Rights" organization said. "The office didn't burn down completely, but all our equipment has been ruined."
The blaze could have been an arson attack, Isaeva said.
"We haven't been working in the office for nearly two weeks because the power has been cut off. I visited several times to pick up the mail. The equipment was turned off. It can't have been a short circuit," she said.
International and domestic concern has been rising over the safety of human rights workers in Russia's troubled North Caucasus.
Zarema Sadulayeva and her husband, who worked for Let's Save the Generation, an organization working with children affected by the Chechnya conflicts, were kidnapped on August 10. Their bodies were found in the trunk of their car next day. Both had been shot in the head and chest.
The killings came less than a month after the murder of Memorial rights activist Natalya Estemirova, who had been investigating kidnappings and disappearances in Chechnya for the human rights group.