Memorial refuses to be recognized as foreign agent

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Interfax – MOSCOW. July 10, 2013) The Russian human rights and educational society Memorial has dismissed Prosecutor General Yury Chaika’s statement that Memorial has set up a ramified structure in order to evade registration as a foreign agent.

“Memorial (branches) emerged in many cities and consolidated into one organization on its own, and it had nothing to do with those insinuations,” Memorial head Arseny Roginsky told Interfax on Wednesday.

Memorial does not consider itself a foreign agent and will never agree to be registered as such, he said.

“Not a single Memorial organization is a foreign agent and, naturally, will not be registered in such a capacity,” Roginsky said.

Leading Russian human rights organizations, including Memorial, the Moscow Helsinki Group, For Human Rights and others, are boycotting the law requiring non-governmental organizations engaged in politics and funded by sources abroad to be registered as foreign agents.

Chaika said in St. Petersburg earlier on Wednesday that Memorial and Golos are taking advantage of loopholes in the Russian legal system by having set up a ramified structure made up of 64 independent legal entities in order to evade registration as foreign agents.