Court shuts down another Russian human rights group

Moscow: A court in Moscow on Wednesday ruled to shut down another prominent human rights organisation amid a sweeping crackdown on Russian rights groups, independent media and opposition supporters.

The decision to shut down the Memorial Human Rights Center by the Moscow City Court comes a day after Russia's Supreme Court revoked the legal status of its sister organisation, Memorial, an international human rights group that drew international acclaim for its studies of political repression in the Soviet Union.

Both organisations had been labeled foreign agents in previous years a designation that brings with it additional government scrutiny and strong pejorative connotations. In their petitions to shut both groups down, filed to two different courts last month, the prosecutors argued that the organizations repeatedly violated regulations obliging them to mark themselves as foreign agents. Memorial and the Memorial Human Rights Center rejected the accusations as politically motivated. The rulings to shut them down drew widespread public outrage, with crowds of supporters showing up at courthouses on Tuesday and Wednesday despite freezing weather.

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