Russia’s Memorial regional branch branded “foreign agent”

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Interfax – December 12, 2013) Russian human rights activists have said that a St Petersburg court has upheld the Prosecutor’s Office’s claim that the antidiscrimination center Memorial is a “foreign agent”, Russian Interfax news agency reported on 12 December.

The antidiscrimination center Memorial is a regional office of Russia’s Memorial human rights organization. The antidiscrimination center operates in St Petersburg and deals, in particular, with manifestations of racism and discrimination.

“The court fully satisfied all the demands of the claimant, the Prosecutor’s Office, recognized all the activities of the antidiscrimination center Memorial as activities of a foreign agent, and obliged the organization to apply for registration at the Justice Ministry and register the logo,” Interfax learnt from Memorial on 12 December.

None of the regional organizations within the Memorial human rights organization will register as a foreign agent, head of the Memorial Arseniy Roginskiy told Interfax earlier.

Head of Russia’s oldest human rights organization, the Moscow Helsinki Group, Lyudmila Alekseyeva told Interfax earlier: “It’s painful to see how our human rights movement is being destroyed. But no organization will register as a foreign agent. We will not stop working, we will work as volunteers,” she said.

Russian human rights activists are boycotting the law on NGOs. It requires organizations that receive grants from the West to register as foreign agents.