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Russian Justice Ministry asks Supreme Court to liquidate major human rights organization

Russia’s federal Justice Ministry has submitted a lawsuit demanding that the country’s Supreme Court shut down the nonprofit organization “For Human Rights.” The suit argues that the organization, which is headed by 78-year-old human rights veteran Lev Ponomaryov, repeatedly violated Russian law and the Russian Constitution. The violations cited include numerous charges made under Russia’s law on “foreign agents.” The law places operational restrictions and a social stigma on organizations that operate in Russia but receive foreign funding.

For Human Rights has been fined multiple times in recent months for alleged violations of the foreign agent statute. The organization was listed as a foreign agent for the second time in its history in February of 2019 following an “unplanned document check” by the Justice Ministry. Lev Ponomaryov had been arrested the previous December for supporting youth protesters.

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