The European Union deplores the Russian General Prosecutor’s decision to demand the liquidation of the International Historical Educational Charitable and Human Rights Society Memorial and the Memorial Human Rights Centre, an important independent voice in Russian civil society dedicated to the protection of human rights and the history of political repression in Russia.
The move to liquidate Memorial is yet another case of using Russia’s so-called “foreign agents” law to further shrink the space for independent activism and to curtail historical scholarship and critical debates.
The EU has repeatedly condemned the Russian legislation on “foreign agents”. This law runs counter to Russia’s international human rights obligations and commitments. The EU expects Russia to uphold its international human rights obligations.
Russian authorities must reverse this decision and stop the unabated crackdown on civil society and independent media. Memorial is an internationally respected NGO and one of the oldest in Russia. Its activities remain central to the defence of human rights and serve as a bulwark against attempts to manipulate the historical memory of political repression. Understanding the atrocities of the past is a value that must enjoy support and protection. The dismantling of Memorial would be an irreplaceable loss for the Russian people and the rest of Europe.