Closing Russian NGO Memorial Would Be ‘Devastating Blow’ – Council of Europe

Closing down respected Russian rights group Memorial would deal a “devastating blow” to civil society in the country, the secretary-general of pan-European rights body the Council of Europe said Friday.

The closure of “Memorial would deal a further devastating blow to civil society, which is an essential pillar of any democracy,” said Marija Pejcinovic Buric, calling on Russian prosecutors to reconsider a move announced Thursday to close it down.

Memorial, Russia’s oldest rights group, said it was notified by Russia’s Supreme Court that prosecutors had filed a demand to dissolve the group over systematic violations of “foreign agent” legislation.

A term with Soviet-era undertones, the “foreign agent” status forces individuals or organizations to disclose sources of funding and label all their publications, including social media posts, with a tag or face fines.

Memorial, which has been regularly cited as a potential Nobel Peace Prize winner but never won, campaigns for the preservation of historical memory in Russia and against rights violations especially in the northern Caucasus region.

Buric described the move by the Russian prosecutors as “very regrettable.”

She slammed the “foreign agent” status rule, saying “this law stigmatizes NGOs, media, and individuals and has had a repressive impact on civil society in Russia over recent years.”

Memorial on Thursday said there was “no legal basis” for the case, saying it had been accused of failing to identify itself publically as a designated foreign agent.

“This is a political decision aimed at destroying the Memorial Society, an organization dedicated to the history of political repression and the protection of human rights.”

A hearing about the prosecutor’s case is scheduled for Nov. 25 at 11:00 a.m. Moscow time, according to the court website.

(c) The Moscow Times

6 comments

  • “The closure of “Memorial would deal a further devastating blow to civil society, which is an essential pillar of any democracy,” said Marija Pejcinovic Buric, calling on Russian prosecutors to reconsider a move announced Thursday to close it down.”

    More fucking waffle from these traitors to democracy. Who was it that allowed the terrorist state back into PACE, despite all the warnings from countries threatened by the dwarf. You look pretty stupid now, not that it took much doing, maybe your useless organisation will take a look at a few of the mandates of the Council of Europe, then give us one good reason why Muscovy got let back in?

    – Media freedom under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights and the European Convention on Transfrontier Television

    – Protection of democracy through parliamentary scrutiny and election monitoring by its Parliamentary Assembly as well as assistance in democratic reforms, in particular by the Venice Commission.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Putin will not be able to claim Moskovia is a democracy anymore. Even those in the west that have had their heads in the sand for 13 years should be able to see it now.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Hmm. This is the West we are talking about here, I wouldn’t be too sure about that. If the useless EU can investigate 30 countries over using refugees as terrorism, but not include the world’s No1 terrorist state, nothing has changed.

        Liked by 3 people

  • The EU is a master at crying and complaining and denouncing and moaning and groaning but there are hardly any consequences when mafia land kicks human rights in the face in a myriad of ways. Throw the Ruskie shitheads out of PACE and slam them with harsh sanctions, dammit, and stop crying like little girls all the time!

    Liked by 4 people

  • Words won’t stop Putler, only PAIN.

    Liked by 2 people

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