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The preliminary hearing of the lawsuit to close down Memorial Human Rights Centre will continue on 29 November


The plaintiff will submit missing documents and the defendants will submit their position in writing

On 23 November, the preliminary hearing in the case to close down Memorial Human Rights Centre began at Moscow City Court (presided over by Judge Mikhail Kazakov). The court upheld several motions submitted by the defendant's representatives and scheduled the continuation of the preliminary hearing for 29 November at 15:00. Dozens of people gathered outside the court building to support Memorial.

The lawsuit was filed by the Moscow City Prosecutor’s Office.

Legal counsel for Memorial are Mikhail Biryukov, Ilya Novikov and Maria Eismont, as well as lawyers Grigory Vaypan, Anastasia Garina, Tatiana Glushkova, Natalia Morozova and Natalia Secretareva.

Memorial’s representatives put forward a number of motions:

  • That other interested parties should be involved in the hearing of the case, namely Svetlana Gannushkina, Valentin Gefter and Oleg Orlov, the founders of Memorial Human Rights Centre. The lawyers pointed out that the court's decision would affect the founders’ rights who may also have to bear the costs of liquidation. Judge Kazakov dismissed the motion on the grounds that the court’s decision would not affect the founders.
  • That the hearings should be open to the public and the press and video-recording be allowed. The representatives of the Ministry of Justice and the Prosecutor's Office objected, referring to anti-Covid regulations. The judge supported the plaintiffs, noting that if necessary the court’s press service would make a video-recording.
  • That, with regard to evidence presented, one of eight decisions of the Tverskoy court, appended to the suit, lacked the section containing its resolution, and a report on an investigation referred to a disk and additional sheets that were not provided. The judge ruled that the plaintiffs should provide these materials.
  • That Memorial Human Rights Centre has still not been told the grounds for an inspection of the organization conducted by prosecutors one year ago. A representative of the Prosecutor's Office promised to provide this information at the next hearing.

The prosecutor appended two documents to the materials of the case confirming that Roskomnadzor [the Federal Agency for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media] and the Ministry of Justice had received copies of the lawsuit.

The Ministry of Justice also submitted its position in writing.

Memorial’s representatives will submit their position in writing by 29 November.

Alisa Milchin authored the photos above