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Moscow City Court dissolves Memorial Human Rights Center
A day after Russia’s Supreme Court dissolved the Memorial International Historical Educational Charitable and Human Rights Society, the Moscow City Court similarly ordered the closure of the Memorial’s Human Rights Center, granting a petition by city prosecutors who argued that the organization’s financial activities are “non-transparent.” The authorities also accused Memorial of demonstrating a “steady disregard of Russia’s Constitution and laws.”
Prosecutors said the Memorial Human Rights Center “justified the activities” of several Islamist terrorists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Artpodgotovka left-wing nationalists by naming them as persons persecuted for religion and as political prisoners.
Defense lawyers for Memorial say they plan to appeal the ruling.
On December 28, Russia’s Supreme Court dissolved International Memorial based on similar charges brought by the Attorney General’s Office. Memorial’s representatives say they will challenge this verdict, as well, and they maintain that the organization will find the legal means to continue its operations.
In recent weeks, dozens of organizations from across Russia and around the world, as well as politicians, scientists, and cultural figures, have expressed their support for Memorial. The group’s defenders include former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and Nobel Peace Prize laureate and Novaya Gazeta editor-in-chief Dmitry Muratov.
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