Gorbachev and Russian Nobel Peace Prize call for lawsuit against Memorial to be dropped

The Russians awarded with the Nobel Peace Prize, Mikhail Gorbachev (1990) and Dmitri Murátov (2021), wrote this Thursday to the Prosecutor’s Office to withdraw the lawsuit against Memorial, the most important and oldest human rights organization in this country.

“The demand to close Memorial has caused fear and concern in the country that we share,” the joint statement said.

Gorbachev and Murátov noted that Memorial’s activities since its founding have been aimed at restoring historical justice and preserving the memory of hundreds of thousands of people retaliated during the Soviet Union.

They stressed that the organization’s work is limited to remembering Soviet repressions to prevent their repetition “now and in the future.”

Recently, the Prosecutor’s Office directed the Supreme Court to dissolve Memorial due to its alleged violations of the Constitution and the breach of its functions as a foreign agent, a category to which it belongs since 2016.

Memorial rejected the accusations of the Prosecutor’s Office, which it clearly considered “political”, and assures that “there are no legal reasons” for its liquidation.

Its members accuse the Kremlin and the state security organs of trying to prevent it from further investigating crimes committed during the USSR and since 1991, especially since the current president, Vladimir Putin, came to power in 2000.

He was joined by the widow of the Nobel Prize for Literature Alexandr Solzhenitsin, Natalia; the Yeltsin Center; the Yábloko party; Russian writer Ludmila Petrushévskaya, who gave up an award she received from Putin in 2002; Human Rights Watch or the heads of diplomacy of the European Union, the USA or Germany,

Meanwhile, the director of Amnesty International for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Marie Struthers, accused the Russian authorities of believing “that they can simply erase from the history books forever the crimes that the state committed against its own people.”

Memorial is dedicated among other things to the rehabilitation of the reprisals in times of Stalinism and, in addition to receiving the Sakharov Prize from the European Parliament in 2009, has been a candidate on several occasions for the Nobel Peace Prize.

It was formally founded in 1991, coinciding with the disintegration of the USSR, although it had already been operating since the previous year, in order to keep alive the memory of the millions of people who were retaliated by the totalitarian communist state.

Among its founders is the Soviet scientist and dissident Andrei Sakharov, Nobel Peace Prize in 1975, father of the hydrogen bomb and a pioneer in the defense of human rights in this country.

In recent years, all the human rights organizations critical of the Kremlin have been declared a foreign agent, to which almost all the independent media have joined in recent months.

Recently, the Kremlin criticized the award of the Nobel Prize to Murátov, director of the newspaper “Nóvaya Gazeta”, one of the newspapers most critical of Putin’s management.

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Gorbachev and Russian Nobel Peace Prize call for lawsuit against Memorial to be dropped