Russia Seeks to Close Top Human Rights Group Memorial

Russia seeks to shut down Memorial, one of the country’s most prominent human rights groups, under the controversial law on “foreign agents.”

Memorial announced in a statement on Nov. 11 that it had received notification from the Supreme Court that the Prosecutor General’s Office filed a lawsuit to liquidate the group for not complying to the foreign agent law.

Memorial said that the decision was politically motivated and had no legal grounds.

“We have repeatedly emphasized that the Russian foreign agent legislation is unlawful and consciously designed to suppress civil society. We have insisted that this law must be repealed. Yet, as long as it is in force, we are obliged to fulfil its requirements,” Memorial said.

“It aims to destroy the organization which deals with the political repressions of the past and fights for human rights today,” Memorial further said.

The hearing of the case will take place on Nov. 25.

Established in the late 1980s, Memorial is the oldest civil rights group in Russia.

Memorial joins a growing list of rights groups and news outlet that have been designated as foreign agents this year.

According to the Russian government, foreign agents are foreign-funded entities, including people, that are engaged in political activity.

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