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Rights Organisation Memorial International

Date: 03 January 2022 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

The closure of Memorial International has been ordered by Russia’s Supreme Court, amidst a major crack-down.

 

Background

Memorial International is the country’s most prominent and oldest human rights organisation.

 

Details

  • The organization came into existence in 1992 to shed light on repressions that occurred during Soviet era as well as present day Russia.

  • Andrei Sakharov, the father of the Soviet Hydrogen bomb and 1975 Nobel peace prize winner, was one of the founders of the memorial.

 

The decision

  • The decision to shut down was taken for violating the controversial foreign agents law. They say that the organization was wrongly portraying Soviet history.

  • The court also says that it was creating a false image of the USSR as a terrorist state and criticizing government bodies.

 

Law for closure

  • The Russian Parliament had amended a law to broaden the definition of a spy to include Russian nationals who help foreign states and organisations.

  • Any organization that receives foreign fund could be targeted after certain more amendments were made in the law.

  • The amendments have allowed the courts and government agencies to target any individual critics of Putin, even on social media.

 

Incidents

Recently, a journalist working for the BBC’s Russian language service had to undergo self-imposed exile due to designation as a ‘foreign agent’.

 

Criticism

The US and European Union has criticized the court’s decision. They say that closure of the organization signaled Russia was not serious of protecting human rights defenders.