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Moscow authorities evict Sakharov Center from Sakharov memorial apartment, other spaces
Moscow’s municipal authorities are evicting Sakharov Center, a non-profit founded by Andrey Sakharov’s wife, the human rights activist Elena Bonner, from all the spaces now used by the center, including its main building, gallery, and the Andrey Sakharov memorial apartment.
The non-profit, whose mission is to educate the public about human rights, received the termination notice on January 24. The authorities’ decision was based on the amendments to the Russian “foreign agent” law that took effect on December 1, 2022. Now, an organization on the “foreign agent” register must be stripped of all state assistance and funding.
Sakharov Center had leased its spaces from Moscow free of charge since the 1990s.
In a press release, the non-profit acknowledged:
Today, the history of our center as we knew it for a quarter of a century is coming to a close. An island of liberty has become impossible in today’s Russia, which has turned away from Sakharov’s legacy, from the entire tradition of Russian humanism, and from aspiring towards truth and justice.
Sakharov center was established in 1996 to preserve the legacy of the Russian scientist, dissident, and human rights activist Andrey Sakharov.
In December 2014, the Russian Justice Ministry designated the non-profit a “foreign agent.” On January 23, 2023, the Russian Prosecutor General’s office declared the U.S.-based Sakharov Foundation an “undesirable organization,” as part of the same attack on Sakharov’s legacy.
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