Interfax: Hearing of Memorial, Golos Complaints Against Prosecutors Postponed Until February

Kremlin and St. Basil's

MOSCOW. Nov 18 (Interfax) – The Moscow Zamoskvoretsky Court has postponed until February 4, 2014 the hearing of the complaint filed by the human rights center Memorial about the prosecutors’ demand to register as a foreign agent.

Thus, the court has postponed the hearing of the human rights activists’ until the Strasbourg court or the Russian Constitutional Court give their decisions on the law on foreign agents.

During the court hearing, lawyers for Memorial made a request to suspend the trial of the case due to the appeals contesting the law on foreign agents filed with the European Court of Human Rights and the Russian Constitutional Court.

The defense lawyers for Memorial cited the decision made by the Council of Europe commissioner recommending that the Russian authorities refrain from using the law on foreign agents until the European Court of Human Rights and the Russian Constitutional Court give their decisions.

The Zamoskvoretsky Court has also postponed the hearing of a similar appeal filed by the association Golos to February 4, 2014.

In early March 2013, Moscow prosecutors conducted an inspection of Memorial. On April 29, the prosecutors ordered the human rights activists to correct violations of the law on foreign agents by registering as a foreign agent.

The center Memorial is part of the historical, educational and human rights society Memorial, which is led by Arseniy Roginsky. Roginsky said in late September that none of Memorial’s offices in the Russian regions will register as a foreign agent.

Prosecutors, Justice Ministry officials, and tax bodies launched a large-scale inspection of NGOs in Russia in early 2013. This inspection is linked to the law requiring NGOs engaging in political activities and receiving Western grants to register as foreign agents, which took effect on November 21, 2012.