30 December 2015
Source: HRO.org (info)
Following the results of the planned inspection of Memorial last October, the Ministry of Justice accused members of the Human Rights Centre of "undermining the foundations of the Russian Federation's constitutional order, calling for the overthrow of the current government and for a change of the country's political regime".
These accusations are unfounded. Moreover, they violate the legal norms of the Russian Constitution and discredit members of Memorial Human Rights Centre.
Consequently, on 28 December 2015, Aleksandr Cherkasov, chair of Memorial's board, wrote to the Prosecutor General's office. He stated that "officials of the Directorate General of the Ministry of Justice for Moscow exceeded their powers with regard to the conduct of inspections and directly violated the constitution…
"Officials of governmental bodies do not have the right, when carrying out the duties with which they have been entrusted, to violate the Constitution of the country and use their official powers to discredit members of non-governmental organisations which are carrying out their own activities in accordance with the requirements of the Russian Federation constitution…
"The activities of the Memorial Human Rights Centre interregional NGO – as described, for example, in the inspection documents – fully comply with … the provisions of the Russian Federation Constitution.
"Statements on the part of our NGO concerning violations, shortcomings and criticisms in respect of the work of the government's legislative, executive and judicial institutions are not only legal, but contribute to the democratic development of the country".
Aleksandr Cherkasov is asking the Prosecutor General's office to review the legality of the Ministry of Justice officials' actions and to take appropriate measures following the results of the review.
* * *The text of the letter can be read at http://hro.org/node/23682
Translated by Suzanne Eade Roberts
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