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Memorial Contests Requirement to Register as Foreign Agent

17 June 2013 

Source: (info)
On 20 June 2013 at 5:50pm, a preliminary hearing in the appeal case lodged by Memorial Human Rights Center will be held at Zamoskvoretsky district court in Moscow. Memorial Human Rights Centre is contesting the ruling of the Moscow prosecutor's office that it should register as a “foreign agent.”

In late March, the Moscow prosecutor's office conducted an inspection of Memorial Human Rights Center for “compliance with current legislation." The organization has repeatedly declared the inspection was unlawful, and has disputed the prosecutors' actions in court (see:

On 29 April, as a result of the inspection, the prosecutor's office issued Memorial Human Rights Centre with a notice ( ordering the organization to remove alleged violations of the law on NGOs (

According to the prosecutors, Memorial Human Rights Centre is engaged in so-called "political activity" which, combined with the receipt of foreign funding, entails the need to register as a foreign agent.

On 28 May, Memorial Human Rights Centre lodged an appeal ( at the Zamoskvoretsky district court on the grounds that the notice had been issued illegally. The suit stated that there were no grounds for the findings of the prosecutor's office concerning the activities of the organization, and the information underlying the prosecution's actions was inaccurate. Memorial Human Rights Centre also pointed out that the foreign agents law cannot be applied, because it violates the organization's right to freedom of association and freedom of expression.