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Russian Supreme Court Rules on Closure of NGO Memorial International

© Sputnik / Mikhail Voskresenskiy / Go to the mediabankSupporters of the Memorial Human Rights Centre are seen in front of a police officer during a hearing on a case to shut it down outside the Russian Supreme Court, Russia.
Supporters of the Memorial Human Rights Centre are seen in front of a police officer during a hearing on a case to shut it down outside the Russian Supreme Court, Russia.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 28.12.2021
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Russian Supreme Court decided on Tuesday to grant the request of the Prosecutor General's office to shut down Memorial International (recognized as a foreign agent), a human rights organization studying political crimes and repression in the Soviet Union, a Sputnik correspondent reported from the courtroom.
The request to close Memorial, accused of breaking the "foreign agents" law, was submitted to the Supreme Court last month.
"The Court decided to liquidate the International public organization 'The international historical, educational, charitable and human rights society Memorial' and its structural organizations," the verdict read.
On Wednesday, a Moscow court will hold a hearing on a similar request from Russian prosecutors against Memorial Human Rights Center, an affiliate group charged with justifying terrorism in its publications, along with allegedly violating the "foreign agents" law by repeatedly failing to mark its publications with a relevant warning.
According to prosecutors, the organization's activities distort the memory of the Great Patriotic War (the 1941-1945 war between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany) and "create a false image of the USSR as a terrorist state."
The NGO's defense team, for its part, requested not that they not be shut down outright, noting that the group had already paid relevant fines and adapted its activities to the law on "foreign agents" by labeling its publications with relevant warnings.

US Decries Russian Supreme Court's Decision to Close NGO Memorial International

The United States denounces the Russian Supreme Court's decision to grant the request of the Prosecutor General's Office to shut down Memorial International (recognized as a foreign agent in Russia), a human rights organization studying political crimes and repression in the Soviet Union, Ambassador in Moscow John Sullivan said on Tuesday.

"AMB Sullivan: The Russian Supreme Court’s decision today to shut down International Memorial – one of Russia’s oldest & most prominent human rights organizations – is a blatant and tragic attempt to suppress freedom of expression and erase history," the US embassy wrote on Twitter.
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