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Russia’s top court to consider shutdown of Russia’s oldest human rights organization

January 28, 2015, 9:08 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Memorial is Russia’s oldest human rights organization that was founded in the late 1980s
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© ITAR-TASS/Yury Mashkov

MOSCOW, January 28. /TASS/. Russia’s Supreme Court is due to consider on Wednesday the Justice Ministry’s lawsuit on the dissolution of Russia’s Memorial human rights organization.

A spokesperson for the Justice Ministry earlier confirmed that Memorial had provided the documents on revising its charter, but the ministry still had claims to the organization.

The complainant party said Memorial has not confirmed its sphere of activity and its new charter fails to take into consideration the changes in Russia’s Civil Code, which came into force on September 1, 2014.

Back in December 2012, the findings of the Justice Ministry’s inquiry proved that the organization lacked an all-Russia status and failed to confirm statutory activities in documents. The Justice Ministry asked to rectify violations until July 30, 2013, but this was not done and the ministry filed a lawsuit in the Supreme Court.

Russian Justice Minister Sergey Gerasimov earlier said the ministry has never had the goal of shutting down the non-governmental organizations, which do not conform to legislation.

Memorial is Russia’s oldest human rights organization that was founded in the late 1980s. Its initial task was to study the history of political repression in the former Soviet Union. Now it collects and publishes information about violations of human rights in the territory of the Commonwealth of Independent States.

Last summer, Memorial wasregistered as a "foreign agent" under a new Russian law and in October, the Justice Ministry filed a lawsuit to the Supreme Court calling for Memorial’s dissolution. It claimed that the organization does not comply with its own charter.

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