The Ministry of Justice of Russia decided to include an international educational, charitable and human rights organization “Memorial” to the register of “foreign agents”, organization informed the BBC.
The Ministry adopted this decision after an unscheduled inspection on the “foreign agents” activities. Prosecutor’s General Office of Russia instructed to do an inspection. “Memorial” presented different documents, including protocols, reports, a list of publications, financial and bank documents for the last 4 years - overall 31,000 letters.
“We think this decision is illegal. We will appeal to the court”, - reported “Memorial” on its official Facebook page.
“The law is such that it is enough to find any social activity, and an organization can be recognized as a “foreign agent”. Attracting public attention is a political activity”, - said the member of the board of “Memorial” Yan Rachynskyi.
According to him, the Ministry of Justice recognized as a political activity the organization’s statement about the law on “foreign agents”. It believes that the law is unconstitutional and illegal.
“The Ministry also believes that our statements concerning an assassination of Borys Nemtsov are a political activity. Those statements were about the responsibility of the authorities in creating an atmosphere of intolerance and hatred for dissidents”, - added Rachynskyi.
“Memorial” is the oldest NGO in Russia, created in 1989 in the USSR. Its main activities are an investigation of political repressions in the USSR, organizing an archive of the victims of the Great Terror, educational and human rights activity.
An organization was first included in the list of “foreign agents” in 2015.
The law on “foreign agents” was adopted in Russia in 2012. According to the law, the “foreign agents” are organizations which engage in political activity and receive financing from abroad.
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