MOSCOW, October 16 (RAPSI) – The Russian human rights organization, Memorial, hopes the Justice Ministry will withdraw a lawsuit it has filed with the Supreme Court to close the human rights center, Interfax reported on Thursday.
The Supreme Court will hear the lawsuit filed by the Justice Ministry to shut down the Russian historical, educational, human rights and charitable society, Memorial, which includes dozens of NGOs across Russia, on November 13.
The ministry has questions about the organization’s structure.
Memorial head Arseny Roginsky said that in September they notified the Justice Ministry of their intention to hold a conference to review the organization’s performance and to elect new management in late November.
The Justice Ministry told Interfax that Memorial had enough time to correct the cited shortcomings, in particular before and during the hearing of the lawsuit at the Supreme Court. A ministry official also said that the September letter from Memorial allegedly had not specified a timeframe for the conference, and that the organization had not asked to give it time to correct its shortcomings.
One of Memorial’s declared goals is to help rehabilitate the victims of Stalinist persecution campaigns. It also includes the Memorial Center, which monitors the human rights situation in the North Caucasus and is on the foreign agents register.
A federal law was adopted in November 2012 requiring all NGOs engaged in political activity and receiving foreign funding to register as “foreign agents” or face fines of up to 500,000 rubles (approx. $14,200).