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Memorial Sues Over Random Inspections

The Memorial human rights organization has taken Moscow prosecutors to court over the random inspections conducted at the organization in March.

The group filed a complaint with the Zamoskovoretsky District Court on Monday, saying the inspection carried out at Memorial contradicted parts of the federal law "On Public Prosecution" and violates the Constitution, according to a statement on its website.

The organization submitted the requested documents to the prosecutor's office on March 29.

In their complaint, activists at Memorial cite the Constitution's Article 30, which involves the right to association and freedom of activities of community organizations. They also say Article 11 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (freedom of assembly and association) was violated by the inspections, as well as parts of the law "On Public Prosecution" defining subjects for supervision and the powers of the prosecutor.

The activists have asked the court to recognize the actions of the prosecutors as unlawful and put an end to the random inspections.

Sweeping inspections of NGOs including For Human Rights, Memorial and other human rights organizations began on March 21.

The Justice Ministry, which is responsible for conducting the checks in conjunction with prosecutors and the Federal Tax Service, has said the checks are necessary to determine which organizations receive funds from abroad and should thus receive the status of "foreign agent" in keeping with the new NGOs law.

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