The closure of Memorial International has been ordered by Russia’s Supreme Court, amidst a major crack-down.
Memorial International is the country’s most prominent and oldest human rights organisation.
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 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.
Recently, a journalist working for the BBC’s Russian language service had to undergo self-imposed exile due to designation as a ‘foreign agent’.
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.