US News Lead 1-Russian Justice orders the closure of the Human Rights Center

16:25  29 december  2021
16:25  29 december  2021 Source:   rfi.fr

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Russia-Politics / Feem Memorial (Lead 1): Lead 1-Russian Justice Orders the Closure of the Human Rights Center Memorial

(Updated all of the long with statements, details, context)

by Andrew Osborn and Mikhail Antonov

Moscow, 29 December (Reuters) - Russian Justice ordered Wednesday the Closure of the Human Rights Defense Center (HRC Memorial, the day after dissolution by the Supreme Court of the other branch of the oldest human rights NGO in Russia, International Memorial.

Memorial CDH is accused of breaking the law forcing him to register as "foreign agent", as well as to justify terrorism and extremism in some of this work, what the NGO denied.

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The CDH expressed its willingness to appeal this decision, which translates into the closure of its various agencies.

The announcement of the decision was welcomed to the cries of "Pozor! Pozor!" (Shame! Shame!) By supports of the association massaged outside the Moscow Tribunal by -12 ° C.

Anna Dobrovolskaya, Director General of the HRC, explained at the exit of the Tribunal that it sentenced that the targeting of Memorial was only the first stage of a "purge" of the human rights defense sector by the Russian authorities .

"Obviously our work had become too embarrassing and disturbing someone," she said, stating that this decision was "not a surprise" for memorial teams but could deter other activists Human rights in Russia.

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Memorial HRC has a network of representations in the North Caucasus, a Muslim region of southern Russia, where he has worked to document human rights abuses in certain areas such as Chechnya, while providing a Legal and practical aid to victims.


It also maintains a list of people considered as political prisoners in Russia, for example opponent Alexei Navalny and his supports, or witnesses of Jehovah or Muslims accused of terrorism who, according to memorial, have been The victims "of unfounded accusations resting on evidence mounted by simply because of their religious affiliation".

as the dissolution of international memorial by the Russian Supreme Court, which has generated a wave of criticism internationally, the closure of the NGO HRC has immediately been denounced by other human rights organizations .

"In two days, Russian justice has asserted two successive hard strokes to the human rights movement in Russia," said Twitter Rachel Denber, Deputy Director of the Europe and Central Asian Division of the NGO Human Rights Watch .

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The British Foreign Minister Liz Truss condemned this closure that it has described as "hard blow for freedom of expression in Russia."

This judicial offensive against Memorial intervenes at the end of a year marked by the incarceration of Alexei Navalny, fierce opponent of President Vladimir Putin, by the prohibition of the activities of his movement and the exile contracted many of his Allies.

no comment could be obtained in the immediate immediate presidency about the closure of the MEMorial HRC, while the Kremlin regularly does not interfere in justice decisions and simply ensure the application of the laws. In order to combat extremism and protect the country with malicious foreign influences.

founded in 1989 by dissidents, including Andrei Sakharov, Memorial first focused on documenting the crimes of the Stalinist era and to defend human rights in Russia, before expanding its activities to the repression of opponents. Vladimir Poutine.

(with the contribution of Svetlana Ivanova, French version Jean-Stéphane Brush and Myriam Rivet, edited by Matthieu Protard)

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