The day after the Brotherhood was ordered to close, a Russian court closed the Memorial Human Rights Center

The center has repeatedly been accused of violating Russia’s “foreign agency” law and in its publications “justifying terrorism and extremism,” the organisation’s lawyer Ilya Novikov told CNN.

The decision comes a day after Russia’s Supreme Court ruled in its favor Close its sister group Memorial International. Novikov said they would appeal.

“It simply came to our notice then [decision of the Supreme Court to shut down Memorial International]. We have no illusions about today’s trial, “Novikov told CNN by telephone.

“But it’s very important that those harassments do not motivate people, and I think it does not make people stop their human rights work. The legal entity may be dissolved, but there is work and there are people.

Mary Strothers, director of Amnesty International’s Eastern Europe and Central Asia, said in a statement on Wednesday that the ruling was “heartless”.

“The heartbreaking closure of the Human Rights Center monument by Russian authorities, an organization that has helped thousands of individuals during times of crisis at home and abroad for 30 years, is another blow to Russia’s civil society movement after years of relentless attacks.” Struders said he was critical of the “false allegations” against the organization.

“These bogus allegations serve as more than an excuse to silence dissent and hinder the ability of people to unite to defend human rights, and they must be dropped immediately,” he added.

Struthers said the ruling “applies to a broader repression that seeks to outlaw Russia’s civil society networks” and called for the “immediate reversal” of the decision.

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The Memorial Human Rights Center and Memorial International are separate law firms.

The first focuses on repression in modern Russia and the second exposes the abuses and atrocities of the Stalinist era.

Russian court closes Memorial International Human Rights Commission

These rulings continue the emptiness of Russia’s civil society organizations, which have gradually fallen victim to Putin’s dictatorship.

Human rights groups and pro-democracy activists have come under attack in recent years.

Earlier this year, thousands of protesters were arrested for taking part in several demonstrations in support of Putin’s top political opponent, Alexei Navalny.

Demonstrations in the first few months of 2021 faced severe repression by police, including widespread arrests and the use of disproportionate force.

But experts worry that closing the memory of any group that falls on the Kremlin could lead to a worsening situation.

Several rights groups, including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, wrote in an open letter in early December that “it is difficult to overstate the urgency of ensuring that the two memorial organizations can continue to play an important role in protecting human rights.” “The monument is in the heart of Russia’s civil society, and the authorities hope to target it and massacre Russia’s civil society.”

In a statement released Wednesday, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) expressed “deep regret” over the court’s decision.

“These actions have disbanded two of Russia’s most respected human rights groups and further weakened the country’s declining human rights community,” it said.

The UN stressed that the legitimate voices of civil society should not be tarnished by the use of the term “foreign agent.”

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“We urge the Russian authorities to protect and support working people and organizations to advance human rights throughout the Russian Federation,” he concluded.

Joshua Berlinger of CNN contributed to this report.

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