The Supreme Court of Russia has announced its decision to dissolve the prominent Memorial non-governmental organization in line with a request from the Prosecutor’s Office based on the laws on “foreign agents” in the country.
Judge Alla Nazarova has ordered that “the request of the Prosecutor’s Office on the liquidation of Memorial be satisfied,” according to the Russian news agency TASS. The court has only announced the operative part of the decision, without revealing its arguments.
The lawyer Maria Eismont has immediately branded the decision “illegal and unfounded” and has announced that it will file an appeal. The Supreme Court’s measure also affects all structures linked to Memorial.
In November, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights expressed its concern about the request of the Prosecutor’s Office and affirmed that the authorities use the designation of “foreign agent” to “label those who consider themselves to be foreign-funded organizations and involved in ‘political activities’.”
For her part, the Secretary General of Amnesty International, Agnès Callamard, demanded that Moscow not close the NGO and stressed that this act would be “an irreparable loss” for the country and for the rest of the world.
Thus, he recalled that Memorial “monitors and exposes human rights violations, campaigns on behalf of the victims and defends them before the courts.” “It monitors politically motivated persecutions,” Callamard added.
Memorial, founded in 1989, announced in mid-November a notification from the Supreme Court of Russia informing it of the lawsuit filed by the Attorney General’s Office to dissolve the group for systematic violations of the legislation on “foreign agents”.