Putin’s Supreme Court ordered the closure of Memorial, an NGO emblem of individual freedoms in Russia

The Supreme Court that responds to Vladimir Putin ordered the closure of the prestigious NGO Memorial International, defender of civil liberties of Russians (Reuters) (SPUTNIK /)

The cut Supreme Russian who responds to the president Vladimir Putin ordered the closure of the organization on Tuesday Memorial International, emblem of civil society for its defense of the freedoms civilians and its role as custodian of the history of the victims of Gulag Soviet.

The decision is to close Memorial International and its regional subsidiaries”Announced the NGO on its Telegram account. Just before the judge Alla nazarova said he accepted “the demand of the prosecution”To dissolve the organization. Nazarova has ordered that “the request of the Prosecutor’s Office regarding the liquidation of Memorial is satisfied”, According to the Russian news agency TASS. The court has only announced the operative part of the decision, without revealing its arguments.

The decision against Memorial, which has great prestige outside of Russia, It is part of the repression against those who criticize the Kremlin that has accelerated in 2021, a year in which the closure of independent and NGO media and the dismantling of the movement of the imprisoned opponent Alexei Navalni.

It is a disastrous, unfair decision”, Reacted the defense lawyer, Maria Eismont. “Closing Memorial International returns Russia to its past and increases the danger of (new) repressions”, He had previously estimated before the court.

The prosecution requested in early November the dissolution of Memorial International, the key structure that coordinates the organization’s network in Russia, accusing her of having infringed “systematically“The obligations of its status as”foreign agent”.

This label, reminiscent of “enemy of the people” during the Union Soviet, points out the organizations recognized guilty of acting against the interests of Moscow receiving foreign funds.

All those who are qualified in this way must indicate their status as “foreign agent”In all its publications, under penalty of heavy fines, and submitting to heavy administrative procedures. In parallel, in another judicial case, the prosecution demands the closure of the Memorial Human Rights Defense Center, accused of apology “terrorism and extremism“, In addition to violations of the law on”foreign agents”.

A woman with a mask that reads
A woman wearing a mask that reads “Memorial must not be banned” attends a Russian Supreme Court hearing to consider the closure of the human rights group International Memorial in Moscow, Russia December 28, 2021 (Reuters) ( EVGENIA NOVOZHENINA /)

In this other case, a hearing is scheduled for Wednesday before a court of Moscow.

Lawyers for the NGO, which has already paid significant fines for violations of the law on “foreign agents”, denounce unfounded, disproportionate and political persecutions.

Historical trauma

Memorial, created in 1989 by Soviet dissidents (including the award Nobel Peace Prize Andrei Sakharov), began a meticulous work of documenting the Stalinist crimes and the camps of the Gulag, and continued his work in defense of the Rights Humans and political prisoners.

Is NGO also investigated Russian abuses during the wars in Chechnya and, more recently, on paramilitaries of the group “Wagner”, Considered as the armed wing of Russia abroad, something the Kremlin denies.

In 2009, Natalie Estemirova, responsible for the NGO in the region of Caucasus, She was killed. The crime was never solved.

NGO supporters consider that the regime of Vladimir Putin want to delete Memorial to silence the history of Soviet repressions, because the Kremlin prefers to celebrate the heritage of the heroism of the USSR in front of the Nazis instead of the memory of Stalin’s millions of victims.

On Monday, a Russian court increased the prison sentence of the prominent historian of the Gulag and member of Memorial Human Rights Defense Center, Yuri Dmitriev, to a total of 15 years in prison for a case of “aggression sexualWhich, according to his supporters, was mounted to punish his work on the time of Soviet terror.

(With information from AFP and Europa Press) .-


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