The US, the European Union, Australia, Canada and Britain on Friday condemned Russian court docket selections to close the nation’s oldest human rights group Memorial and its sister group, the Memorial Human Rights Middle.
“For greater than three a long time, Memorial has fulfilled a singular position in documenting historic crimes and recovering for posterity the reminiscence of the tens of hundreds of thousands of victims of political repression within the nation,” the international locations stated in a joint assertion issued late on Friday.
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The choice to silence Memorial adopted many months of deepening and systematic repression in Russia towards human rights defenders, unbiased media and journalists, political opposition members and demanding voices, the international locations famous.
“The declare by Russian authorities that Memorial Human Rights Middle’s principled and peaceable work ‘justifies extremism and terrorism’ can’t be accepted,” the assertion stated. “Memorial’s work has by no means been extra wanted.”
Russia’s Memorial Human Rights Centre was ordered to close by a Moscow court docket on Wednesday, a day after its sister group – Russia’s oldest human rights group – was pressured to shut.
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The Human Rights Centre retains a working listing of people it classifies as political prisoners, together with Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.
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The listing consists of Jehovah’s Witnesses and Muslims convicted of terrorism that Memorial says have been victims of “unproven costs primarily based on fabricated proof due to their spiritual affiliation.”
The Centre operates a community of places of work throughout the predominantly Muslim North Caucasus area, the place it has documented rights abuses in locations corresponding to Chechnya and offered authorized and sensible assist to victims.
The U.S., the EU, Australia, Canada and Britain referred to as on Russia to uphold its worldwide human rights obligations and commitments.
“The folks of Russia, like folks in every single place, have the best to freedom of expression and affiliation, together with in protection of their human rights and basic freedoms,” the assertion stated.
(Reporting by Sabine Siebold Enhancing by Chris Reese)