Russia’s Supreme Court was scheduled on November 13 to hear a lawsuit from the Russian government aimed at dissolving Memorial -- the country’s oldest and most prominent human rights organization.
Russia’s Justice Ministry has appealed to the Supreme Court to close the Memorial over technical issues related to its legal registration.
Formally called the “Russian Memorial Society,” the umbrella organization is comprised of more than 50 rights groups across Russia, including its famed human rights center, as well as in Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Latvia, and Georgia.
Founded in Moscow in 1989 under the auspices of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Andrei Sakharov, Memorial has led efforts to uncover communist-era rights repressions and fight rights abuses in modern-day Russia.
The U.S. Helsinki Commission, a U.S. government agency that monitors human rights abuses worldwide, says Moscow’s attempt to liquidate Memorial is "an obvious attempt to silence the voice of its own conscience."