Middle East

Russian Supreme Court closes Top Rights Group Memorial

Prosecutors say the group’s central structure violates its designation as a “foreign agent” because it does not label all publications as required by law, but the memorial Lawyers and founders have denied serious violations.

The Memorial has spent years cataloging the atrocities committed in the Soviet Union, especially in Gulag, the infamous network of prison camps. (VASILY MAXIMOV / AP)

The Russian Supreme Court will consider a request to close the Memorial, the country’s most prominent rights group and chronista, of Stalin-era purges and modern political persecution.

The hearing on Tuesday will take place at the end of the year when authorities saw the political opposition dismantled and cracked down on independent media and rights groups.

The prosecution violated the group’s core structure, Memorial International, by not labeling all publications, including social media posts, as required by law, thereby violating its designation as a “foreign agent.” It states that it is.

The prosecution also demanded that the court close the Memorial Human Rights Center, alleging that it tolerated “terrorism and extremism” in addition to violating the “foreign agent” law.

In that case, the Moscow court will hold a new inquiry on Wednesday.

Laws with Stalin-era implications brand organizations that receive foreign funds as actions against Russia’s interests.

Memorial lawyers and founders have denied serious breaches, saying that the material is properly marked and that only a few documents may be missing tags.

read more: U.S. tech giant removes Navalny’s voting app on Russian election day

Slim odds

The hearing is one of two proceedings filed against the Group and is being heard by the Supreme Court because Memorial International is registered as an international organization. The judgment will not be opened for appeal in a Russian court.

President Vladimir Putin said this month that the Memorial was advocating on behalf of “terrorist and extremist organizations,” and the group itself does not expect the court to rule in its favor.

Founded in 1989 by Soviet dissidents, including Nobel Peace Prize laureate Andrei Sakharov, the organization believes it will be the victim of a crackdown set up to thwart by the weekend.

The latest hearing at the trial took place over the weekend after Russia said it blocked the OVD-Info rights monitor website, which works with the Memorial, and promoted terrorism and extremism.

OVD-Info tracked opposition protests and provided legal support to victims of political repression, and the Memorial compiled a list of political prisoners, including Putin’s main domestic enemy, Alexei Navalny.

Navalny was imprisoned for old fraud in February, and since then he has seen his organization banned as a “radical” and all his top allies fleeing the country.

On Monday, a court in the northwestern city of Petrozavodsk extended the imprisonment of Yury Dmitriev, the memorial chief of Carrelia, to a total of 15 years.

His supporters say he has been punished for his work of finding and excavating a mass grave of people killed under the control of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin.

His supporters have been sentenced to 13 years in prison since last year for alleging child sexual abuse, and the 65-year-old boy will be sentenced to another two years in prison.

read more:
Russia bans Jehovah’s Witnesses over “radical activity”

Expose atrocities

Memorial is a loose structure of locally registered organizations, and Memorial International maintains an extensive archive of networks in Moscow and coordinates its work.

This group has spent years cataloging the atrocities committed in the Soviet Union, especially in Gulag, a network of infamous prison camps.

The memorial also appealed for the rights of political prisoners, migrants and other marginalized groups, especially in the turbulent North Caucasus region, including Chechnya.

Proponents say the closure will mark the end of the era of Russia’s post-Soviet democratization process, which began 30 years ago this month.

Source: AFP

https://www.trtworld.com/europe/russia-s-supreme-court-mulls-shutting-down-top-rights-group-memorial-53072?utm_source=other&utm_medium=rss Russian Supreme Court closes Top Rights Group Memorial

Show More
Back to top button