Arseny Roginsky: The blow dealt to the Sakharov Centre is a blow against intellectual freedom

posted 27 Dec 2014, 10:04 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 27 Dec 2014, 10:28 ]
26 December 2014

Source: (info)
"One more blow has been dealt to independent civil society organizations. After Golos, Memorial Human Rights Centre, Moscow School of Civic Education, Public Verdict Foundation and other respected civil society organizations, the authorities have designated the Public Commission for the Preservation of the Legacy of Andrei Sakharov, better known as the Sakharov Centre, as a 'foreign agent'.

Аndrei Dmitrievich Sakharov believed intellectual freedom to be the most important universal human value. It is not by chance that the organization of free discussions became the chief work of the Sakharov Centre. And it is precisely this that has proved to be not to the taste of the Ministry of Justice.

Open discussion of important issues concerning the past and present of Russia, unconstrained by any restrictions, has been declared to be ‘political activity in the interests of foreign funders’. Discussion which, in our view, our country and our citizens need more than anything else today.

We demand the immediate end to this campaign labeling independent organizations. The campaign copies the worst models of harassment of dissidents in the Soviet period.

Declaring the Sakharov Centre to be a ‘foreign agent’ is not only an intentional insult to the Sakharov Centre, it is also an insult to the memory of A.D.Sakharov, returning us to the epoch when he himself was endlessly accused of ‘betraying the Motherland’ and ‘serving the interests of the West.’

We express our solidarity with our friends at the Sakharov Centre.

We are certain that they, as our colleagues from other persecuted organizations, will continue their work even in the most difficult circumstances." 

In the name of the International Memorial Society
Arseny Roginsky, chair of the board