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Russian watchdog blocks access to Moscow Helsinki Group’s website — database

Reasons for restricting access are not specified

MOSCOW, February 8. /TASS/. Access to the website of the Moscow Helsinki Group human rights organization has been restricted on the territory of Russia, according to a database of Russia’s telecoms and media watchdog Roskomnadzor.

The database says that access to the website has been restricted. The reasons were not specified. TASS has requested Roskomnadzor to comment on reasons behind the ban.

On January 25, the Moscow City Court abolished one of Russia's oldest human rights organizations - the Moscow Helsinki Group - thus granting a claim filed by the Ministry of Justice. The court’s decision has not yet entered into force and can be appealed. The group will appeal the ruling, defense lawyer Genry Reznik told TASS. The court announced only the operative part of the judgment so the motives remain unknown.

During the debate the Justice Ministry argued that the main reason for the abolition of the MHG was that it carried out its activities throughout the country, while the group had the status of a regional organization.

The human rights organization Moscow Helsinki Group was founded on May 12, 1976. In May 1996, the organization was headed by Lyudmila Alekseyeva. She died on December 8, 2018. After her death, the MHG’s leadership structure changed: instead of having one chairman, three co-chairs were introduced. In January 2019, Valery Borshchev, Vyacheslav Bakhmin and Dmitry Makarov were elected to these positions.