Support The Moscow Times!

Russian Justice Ministry Searches Human Rights Group Memorial

Denis Abramov / Vedomosti

The offices of human rights group Memorial have been raided by Russian authorities, the organization announced on social media Wednesday.

The organization faces allegations of working as an undeclared "foreign agent," a Soviet-era label given to non-governmental organizations which receive funding from abroad. All "foreign agents" must identify themselves as such in all their publications under Russian law.

“An unplanned search of the Memorial human rights organization took place on Sept. 5," a statement on the group's Facebook page read. "The Ministry of Justice is undertaking the search under orders from the General Prosecutor's office to 'detect signs that the organization is acting as a foreign agent.'”

The group has so far submitted 31, 250 pages of documents, including bank statements and a list of publications, to prove its innocence, the statement said. The results of the search will be announced before Sept. 30.

Memorial's director Arseniy Roginskiy said that if his organization was labeled as a foreign agent, the group would go to court to fight the ruling.

Russia's Justice Ministry added the country's only independent pollster, the Moscow-based Levada Centre, to its list of “foreign agents” earlier this week.

The move has been linked by some critics to the upcoming parliamentary elections for Russia's State Duma, which are set take place on Sept. 18.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more