President of the Russian Federation
Dear Mr President,
My appeal to you has been caused by my deep concern about the situation of one of the oldest human rights organisations – Russian Historical-Enlightenment Human Rights and Humanitarian Society ‘Memorial’.
At present, the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation has filed a lawsuit to the Supreme Court of Russia to close the Memorial Society down. The lawsuit has been based on some formal grounds related to the wording of the society’s Charter. The hearing is to be held on 13 November this year.
Without questioning the grounds of the lawsuit filed by the Ministry of Justice, I believe it would be expedient to make it possible for the Memorial Society to introduce the necessary amendments to their Charter in accordance with the law requirements, at the Society’s Conference which is to take place on 20-23 November.
In view of the public significance of the Memorial Society, its repute and authority in Russia and other countries, I believe it is unjust to put one of the oldest Russian public organisations, which has greatly contributed to the promotion of the Russian civil society, on the edge of liquidation only because of formal characteristics.
Considering your position, by repeating which you have been underscoring the significance of development of the civil society and its most vulnerable part – human rights movement in Russia – I kindly ask you to make your recommendations to the Ministry of Justice to withdraw the lawsuit from the Supreme Court to let the Memorial Society continue their activities, having fulfilled the Ministry’s requirements.
Commissioner for Human Rights in the Russian Federation
CC: A.Konovalov, Minister of Justice of the Russian Federation