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Russian Court Again Postpones Hearing On Bid To Close Memorial

Russia's highest court has postponed until January 28 a hearing on a Justice Ministry suit aimed at shutting the prominent human rights group Memorial.

The postponement, announced by the Supreme Court on December 17, marked the second time a ruling on Memorial's fate has been put off.

The Justice Ministry brought the case against Memorial in October, claiming the organization's charter does not correspond with its activities.

Government critics say it is an effort to silence a widely respected group that has fought for human rights, freedom, justice, and a reckoning with the crimes of the Soviet era since 1989.

A hearing set for November 13 was postponed until December 17 after Memorial said it would make changes in its charter to address the complaints.

The court ordered the new postponement after Memorial said it had submitted the changes on December 12 and the Justice Ministry had little time to examine them.

The ministry supported the request for another postponement, saying that there were still problems with Memorial's new documents but that they could be fixed.

Based on reporting by and Interfax