Russian court shuts down Memorial Human Rights Center, day after sister group ordered closed
By Anna Chernova and Jack Guy, CNN
Updated 1116 GMT (1916 HKT) December 29, 2021
Ilya Novikov (center right), a lawyer for the Memorial Human Rights Center, speaks to journalists outside Moscow City Court on Wednesday.
Moscow (CNN)A court in Moscow ordered the closure of the Memorial Human Rights Center on Wednesday, in the latest blow to Russian civil society groups.
The center was charged with multiple violations of Russia's "foreign agent" law and "justifying terrorism and extremism" in its publications, a lawyer for the organization, Ilya Novikov, told CNN.
The decision comes a day after Russia's Supreme Court decided to close its sister group Memorial International. Novikov said they would launch an appeal.
"It is quite an expected decision after yesterday's [decision of the Supreme Court to shut down Memorial International]. We did not have any illusions about the hearing today," Novikov told CNN by telephone from the court.
"But it is crucial that those persecutions did not discourage people and I think will not make people to stop their human rights work. The legal entity can be liquidated but the work remains and people remain."
The Memorial Human Rights Center and Memorial International are separate legal entities.
The first focuses on oppression in modern Russia, while the second works to expose the abuses and atrocities of the Stalinist era.
The rulings continue the hollowing out of Russia's civil society organizations, which have gradually fallen victim to Putin's authoritarian regime.