Moscow (AP) —Russia’s Supreme Court is hearing a petition on Thursday to close one of the country’s oldest and most prominent human rights groups. Supporter.
Earlier this month, the public prosecutor’s office requested the Supreme Court to revoke the legal status of the memorial. It has become famous for its research on political repression in the Soviet Union and is now an international human rights group that includes more than 50 small groups in Russia and abroad. ..
The Memorial was declared a “foreign agent” in 2016. This is a label that means additional scrutiny by the government and has strong derogatory implications that can damage the credibility of the target organization. The prosecution alleges that the group repeatedly violated the rules requiring it to be marked as a “foreign agent” and tried to hide its designation.
The memorial and its supporters claim that the accusation is a political motive.
Pressure on the group has caused public anger, and many celebrities have expressed their support this month. When the hearing of the petition for the closure of the memorial began on Thursday, a large number of people gathered in front of the Supreme Court building to show support for the organization.
At least three people were reportedly detained. Among them are two elderly women with flags stating “Memorial, thank you for remembering us” and “I can’t kill people’s memories.”
It is unclear whether the Memorial plans to continue working even if it is not a legal entity if the court decides to revoke its position, as several other rights groups in Russia have followed previous crackdowns. Is.
In recent months, the Russian government has designated many independent media, journalists and human rights groups as “foreign agents”. At least two have been disbanded to avoid tighter crackdowns.
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Russian court deciding to close a well-known rights group | WGN Radio 720
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