Press conference "Lawsuits to liquidate Memorials: absurd, illegal, and dangerous for civil society"


18 November 2021, 11: 30 (Moscow Time)

5/10 Karetny ryad, Moscow, Russia

Last week, the Prosecutor General's Office and the Moscow Prosecutor's Office filed lawsuits with the Supreme Court of Russia and the Moscow City Court to liquidate International Memorial and Memorial Human Rights Centre.

The reason to shut down International Memorial is a systematic violation of Russia’s "foreign agent" law (in particular, the requirements to label materials). The Human Rights Centre is additionally being blamed for allegedly justifying the activities of extremist and terrorist organizations.

At the press conference, we will analyze the soundness of the legal grounds of the lawsuits, talk about how the organizations plan to defend themselves, and discuss consequences for Russian civil society and for the country as a whole if both organizations are shut down.

The press conference will be held on 18 November 2021 at 11:30 in person at the Memorial office and via zoom. The press conference will be broadcast on social networks (Facebook, YouTube, VK).

Participants (in the alphabetical order):

Alexander Cherkasov, Chairman of the Council of Memorial Human Rights Centre,

Tatiana Glushkova, member of the Council of Memorial Human Rights Centre, senior lawyer of the programme Protection of Human Rights Using International Mechanisms

Mary Lawlor (online), UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders

Vladimir Lukin, Commissioner for Human Rights in Russia (2004 - 2014)

Tatiana Margolina, Member of the Board of Perm Memorial, former Commissioner for Human Rights in Perm Krai (2005-2017),

Dunja Mijatović (online), Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe,

Lyudmila Ulitskaya, writer,

Elena Zhemkova, Executive Director of International Memorial.

Moderator: Tanya Lokshina, Europe and Central Asia associate director, Human Rights Watch.

Media accreditation is required (applications can be submitted until 18:00 on 17 November). Please note that we comply with all measures recommended to counter COVID-19 pandemic, therefore the presence of journalists in the hall will be limited, and we kindly ask everyone to wear masks.