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Russia’s renowned human rights group to ask court to put off dissolution lawsuit

The Justice Ministry launched a lawsuit demanding to disband Memorial, Russia's oldest human rights organization, citing violations exposed during checks in December 2012
Russia’s Justice Ministry  ITAR-TASS/Yuri Mashkov
Russia’s Justice Ministry
© ITAR-TASS/Yuri Mashkov

MOSCOW, December 12. /TASS/. The Memorial historical and civil rights society has sent its revised charter to Russia’s Justice Ministry and plans to ask to postpone the Supreme Court’s hearing into a lawsuit on its dissolution due on December 17, the executive director said on Friday.

“Today we have submitted to the Justice Ministry a new charter, adopted during a conference on November 22. The ministry is unlikely to check the documents by December 17 and probably, we will ask it to postpone the consideration of the lawsuit,” Elena Zhemkova said.

A member of the group’s board, Oleg Orlov told TASS earlier that the “charter was revised in line with the current legislation” and the problem of the organization’s status has been resolved.

The ministry lodged a lawsuit demanding to disband Memorial, citing violations exposed during checks in December 2012. The claim says that the organization “lacks a nationwide status and it has no documented proof of statutory activity.”

Moreover, it allegedly does not observe its own charter. The Ministry of Justice had twice demanded the organization should remedy breaches but it failed to do that.

Memorial has earlier appealed against the decision, but the ministry filed a lawsuit to the Supreme Court in October. On November 13, the Supreme Court postponed the hearing until December 17.

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, a loose alliance of former Soviet states.