The news that the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office seeks to liquidate International Memorial, one of Russia’s oldest and most reputable human rights organisations, on the basis of the so-called “Foreign Agents” law is very regrettable. As the Council of Europe repeatedly indicated, this law stigmatises NGOs, media and individuals and has had a repressive impact on civil society in Russia over recent years. Unfortunately, the Russian Federation has not acted upon the Council of Europe’s repeated calls to repeal the Foreign Agents legislation.
The liquidation of International Memorial would deal a further devastating blow to civil society, which is an essential pillar of any democracy. We therefore urge the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office to reconsider this move and reiterate our availability to assist the Russian authorities in reviewing the “Foreign Agents law” in line with the European Convention on Human Rights.