Russia's human rights groups say inspections by prosecutors amounted to intimidation campaign

MOSCOW (AP) — Some of Russia's leading rights groups are protesting unscheduled inspections by prosecutors, saying they're meant as intimidation.

Moscow Memorial, Transparency International-Russia, Moscow Helsinki Group and more than a dozen others said in a statement late Monday that the unscheduled checks violate the law.

The rights groups said prosecutors visited 40 non-governmental organizations last week searching for registration and financial documents. The Prosecutor General's office has said nothing about the reasons for the raid and has made no accusations.

Russia's non-governmental organizations have faced tough registration and reporting requirements under a 2006 law championed by former President Vladimir Putin, who continues to wield power as prime minister.