The Russian authorities must suspend the liquidation of Memorial until the ECHR considers the 2013 complaint against the law on foreign agents, replied in Strasbourg
Supporters of the Memorial human rights group
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) indicated to the Russian authorities that the case on the liquidation of the international organization Memorial (recognized as a foreign agent) and the Memorial Human Rights Center (recognized as a foreign agent) must be suspended pending consideration by the ECHR of application No. 9988/13. This is a complaint by Russian NGOs, including Memorial, against the law on foreign agents. It was filed in 2013. In 2016, the ECHR communicated (accepted for consideration) complaints against the law on foreign agents, which by that time had been filed by more than 60 Russian NGOs.
RBC got acquainted with a copy of the ECtHR's reply to Memorial. The document states that the court received letters dated December 28 and 29, 2021, requesting to suspend the forced dissolution of Memorial International. and the Memorial Human Rights Center. They were sent away following the relevant decisions of the Supreme and Moscow City Courts.
“ The chairman of the section to which the case was assigned, after consultation with the relevant chamber & lt; … & gt; decided to point out to the Russian government, in accordance with rule 39, that in the interests of the parties and the proper conduct of the proceedings, the execution of the decisions to dissolve the applicant organizations should be suspended for the period necessary for the court to consider application no. says the court's answer.
Otherwise, the ECHR noted, the provisions of Article 34 of the Convention on Human Rights will be violated (it says about filing complaints with the ECHR and that states “ undertake in no way to interfere with the effective exercise of this right '').
RBC sent a request to the Prosecutor General's Office.
On December 28, the Supreme Court of Russia liquidated Memorial International, satisfying the claim of the Prosecutor General's Office. Representative of the department Alexey Zhafyarov in the debate of the parties on Tuesday argued that the organization poses a public threat, “ speculates on the topic of political repression, distorts the historical memory, including the Great Patriotic War, and creates a false image of the USSR as a terrorist state '', as well as under in the form of restoration of historical memory, it tries to “ rehabilitate Nazi criminals and traitors to their homeland. '' For this, according to Zhafyarov, “ someone pays. ''
The debate was attended by the chairman of the board of the organization Yan Rachinsky, interests of Memorial were represented by lawyers Maria Eismont, Mikhail Biryukov and Henry Reznik. The latter, in the debate of the parties, drew the court's attention to the Concept of State Policy to Perpetuate the Memory of Victims of Political Repression. “ Russia cannot fully become a rule-of-law state and take a leading role in the world community without perpetuating the memory of many millions of its citizens who have become victims of political repression, '' & mdash; Reznik quoted the position of the concept.
The court did not heed the arguments of the defenders of Memorial.
The next day, the Moscow City Court satisfied the claim of the Moscow Prosecutor's Office to liquidate center “ Memorial ''. The claims of the prosecutor's office for the liquidation of both organizations were formally based on the faulty implementation of the legislation on foreign agents in terms of the requirement to put appropriate labeling on materials. So, the international “ Memorial '' for the publication of articles and certificates without a foreign agent's plate, they were fined 2.9 million rubles over several years.
Representatives of Memorial in both processes, they indicated that they were trying to fulfill all the requirements of the state, although they did not agree with them. But this is not always possible, because labeling requirements are not clearly established, and the interpretation of the law by government agencies changes unpredictably over time, lawyers said.
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