The Russian Supreme Court Tuesday affirmed the dissolution of human rights NGO Memorial International, Russian state news agency TASS reported. According to TASS, Memorial International is recognized as a foreign agent NGO and has been fined for violating Russian laws on foreign agents.
The European Court of Human Rights called for Russian General Prosecutor Igor Krasnov to stop the dissolution process in November 2021. In a subsequent statement, Dunja Mijatović, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, accused Krasnov of applying foreign agent laws “as a tool to liquidate human rights NGOs” like Memorial and Human Rights Centre Memorial. Mijatović urged Russian authorities to “immediately repeal the decisions” to dissolve International Memorial and “change their hostile attitude towards independent civil society, media and human rights defenders.”
Nevertheless, Judge Alla Nazarova announced Tuesday that “the request for a stay shall not be permitted.” A French Memorial International branch also announced the decision via Twitter and indicated members were not surprised by the ruling. The organization noted that postponements are usually only available “when there is danger to life and health.”
Memorial’s objectives include promoting democracy, preventing a return to totalitarianism, and remembering victims of totalitarian regimes. Memorial also maintains several databases of victims of political repression.