Wednesday, January 25, 2023
Moscow – (dpa)
A Russian court on Wednesday ordered the closure of the headquarters of the Moscow Helsinki Organization, the country’s oldest human rights organization, amid an accelerating crackdown on what remains of civil society since President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, Bloomberg News reported Wednesday.
The organization was founded in 1976 at the height of the Cold War by a group of Soviet-era dissidents and rights activists to monitor compliance with the Helsinki Agreement, a treaty meant to promote peace between East and West.
The organization has the right to appeal the Moscow City Court’s ruling in support of a request by the Ministry of Justice to close down the organization.
The ministry moved to shut down the Moscow Helsinki Organization on the grounds that it conducted business across Russia while it was registered as a regional body.
The Russian news agency “Tass” reported that Valery Borshchev, deputy head of the organization, described the accusations as absurd, as the organization has been operating on a large scale in the country since its founding.