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Today, police and criminal investigators in Moscow raided the homes of nine Memorial staff and board members, including one of Russia Leading human rights organization and co-recipient of the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize.

Among the homes raided was Oleg Orlov, co-chairman of Memorial’s Human Rights Center, who has been criminally charged by authorities “To defame” Armed Forces of Russia on Criticism of the War Against Russia ukraine, Hundreds of other individuals are being criminally prosecuted under similar charges, while thousands more face administrative charges over their criticism of the war. Officers also searched office spaces associated with the memorial.

This is the latest move by the authorities against the memorial: the prosecutor’s office earlier this month opened a criminal case against unspecified Memorial members on charges of “justification of Nazism”.

In December 2021, I sit on the Supreme Court of Russia When he issued the ruling “liquidation” memorial, on the grounds that he had repeatedly violated Russia’s toxic “foreign agents” law. The prosecutor’s speech went far beyond the summary arguments about these charges.

The mission of the Memorial is to restore and preserve historical memory about Stalin’s Great Terror, rehabilitate its victims, and protect and promote human rights. Prosecutors accused the memorial of distorting history, particularly about World War II, and creating a false image of the Soviet Union. He also chose to magnify the fact that the Memorial was accidentally Involved Three alleged Nazi collaborators in its database of more than three million victims of Stalinist repression, an error the Memorial publicly corrected after they were exposed to relevant evidence.

“Why are we, the descendants of the victors, forced to see impunity in the rehabilitation of traitors and Nazi collaborators?” He said. “Why… should we be ashamed and repent for our… past?”

It was cold.

This was weeks before Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, which the Kremlin falsely and cynically claims is fighting “Nazis” in a 21st-century reboot of World War II.

Russian authorities have already closed the main organizations of the Memorial and used soft excuses to shut down some of Russia’s other prominent human rights groups. This month, the Justice Ministry used a flimsy bureaucratic pretext to seek liquidation of sowais a human rights think tank that documents Russia’s misuse of its sweeping extremism and terrorism laws.

But with today’s raid on the memorial and the questioning of its staff, authorities are making clear that once they shut down an organization, they will continue to prosecute activists who continue to speak out. He should drop the ludicrous “slanderous” allegations against Orlov and the counter-“justifying Nazism” case at once.

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