U.S, EU condemn decision to shut Russian human rights group Memorial


(Reuters) – The United States, the European Union, Australia, Canada and Britain on Friday condemned Russian court docket selections to shut the nation’s oldest human rights group Memorial and its sister organisation, the Memorial Human Rights Center.

“For greater than three many years, Memorial has fulfilled a novel function 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.

The decision to silence Memorial adopted many months of deepening and systematic repression in Russia towards human rights defenders, impartial media and journalists, political opposition members and important voices, the international locations famous.

“The declare by Russian authorities that Memorial Human Rights Center’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 shut by a Moscow court docket on Wednesday, a day after its sister organisation – Russia’s oldest human rights group – was pressured to shut.

The Human Rights Centre retains a operating listing of people it classifies as political prisoners, together with Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.

The listing consists of Jehovah’s Witnesses and Muslims convicted of terrorism that Memorial says have been victims of “unproven costs based mostly on fabricated proof due to their non secular 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 resembling Chechnya and supplied 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 individuals of Russia, like individuals in all places, have the suitable to freedom of expression and affiliation, together with in protection of their human rights and elementary freedoms,” the assertion stated.

(Reporting by Sabine Siebold; Editing by Chris Reese)

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