Criticism of Russia's Verdict on Memorial NGO Shows Disrespect for Judicial System
06:07 GMT 30.12.2021 (Updated: 07:45 GMT 30.12.2021)
© Sputnik / Alexei KudenkoThe Russian Supreme Court
© Sputnik / Alexei Kudenko/
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The criticism of the Russian Supreme Court's verdict on the liquidation of Memorial International* by Western countries demonstrates their disrespect for the Russian judicial system, Grigory Lukyantsev, the Russian Foreign Ministry's commissioner for human rights, democracy, and the rule of law, told Sputnik.
"This is disrespect for our national legal and judicial system, it is independent and we do not exert any pressure on the verdicts. The court made such a decision based on Russian legislation, this is crucial for us", Lukyantsev said.
Tuesday's verdict on Memorial International was condemned by the Council of Europe, the United Nations, the United States, and some EU nations.
The request to close Memorial International was submitted to the Supreme Court last month on charges of violating the Russian law on foreign agents.
According to prosecutors, Memorial International distorts the memory of WWII and "creates a false image of the USSR as a terrorist state". The organisation is also accused of failing to label its materials as those produced by a foreign agent.
The NGO's defence team, for its part, requested 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 labelling its publications with relevant warnings.
On Wednesday, a Moscow court also liquidated the Memorial Human Rights Centre, 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.
* Memorial International is recognised as a foreign agent in Russia