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Russian Activist Ponomaryov To Create New Group After Movement Closed


Human rights activist Lev Ponomaryov

Prominent Russian human rights defender Lev Ponomaryov has announced a plan to create a new human rights organization based on his For Human Rights movement that was shut down by the authorities on November 1.

Ponomaryov’s announcement was placed on his closed group's website on November 5.

"Instead of the movement, we are creating an association without mandatory registration,” Ponomaryov's statement says, adding that some of the closed For Human Rights group will join the new association along with several unspecified human rights and environmentalist organizations.

According to Ponomaryov, several founding congresses to create the new association will be held on November 30.

Ponomaryov reiterated his intention to appeal the Supreme Court's decision shuttering the For Human Rights movement.

The court has explained its move to close Ponomaryov's group by saying the group's charter contradicts the country's Civic Code.

It also cited the reluctance of the group to register as a foreign agent under a 2012 law that has been criticized in the West for stigmatizing organizations with the designation.

In February, the Justice Ministry branded Ponomaryov's group as a foreign agent through the controversial 2012 law that obliges organizations which receive financial support from sources outside of Russia to register as foreign agents.

For Human Rights was one of Russia's oldest and leading human rights organizations. It was established in 1997.

The 78-year-old Ponomaryov is one of Russia's most-prominent human rights activists.

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