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

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source: oicanadian.com

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

She is accused of being a "foreign agent." Under that qualification, all dissenting voices are being persecuted by the Kremlin. The closure of that institution accelerates the repressive process in Russia, said the organization.

Russia's Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered President Vladimir Putin to close down the Memorial International Organization, a symbol of civil society defending civil liberties and protecting the history of the victims of the Soviet gulag. To his character.

"The decision is to close Memorial International and its regional subsidiaries," the NGO announced on its Telegram account. Just before, Judge Alla Nazarova said that she accepted "the prosecution's demand" to dissolve the organization. Nazarova has ordered that "the request of the Prosecutor's Office regarding the liquidation of Memorial be satisfied," according to the Russian news agency TASS. However, the court has only announced the operative part of the decision without revealing its arguments.

The decision against Memorial, which has excellent prestige outside Russia, is part of the repression against those who criticize the Kremlin that has accelerated in 2021, the year in which the closure of independent and Oenegés media and the dismantling of the movement has been seen. Of the jailed opponent Alexéi Navalny.

"It is a disastrous, unfair decision," reacted defense attorney 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. This fundamental structure coordinates the organization's network in Russia, accusing it of having "systematically" violated the obligations of its status as a "foreign agent ."

This label, reminiscent of the "enemy of the people" during the Soviet Union, designates organizations recognized guilty of acting against the interests of Moscow by receiving foreign funds.

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

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

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 prize Nobel Peace Prize winner Andrei Sakharov ), meticulous documentation work began of Stalinist crimes and fields of the Gulag. It continued its work in defending human rights and political prisoners.

This NGO also investigated Russian abuses during the wars in Chechnya and, more recently, on the paramilitaries of the "Wagner" group, considered as the armed wing of Russia abroad, something that the Kremlin denies.

In 2009, Natalia Estemirova, head of the Caucasus region, was assassinated. Unfortunately, the crime was never solved.

Sympathizers of the NGO believe that Vladimir Putin's regime wants to suppress Memorial to silence the history of Soviet repressions because the Kremlin prefers to celebrate the heritage of the USSR's heroism against the Nazis rather than the memory of the millions of victims of Stalin.

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