Moscow-Helsinki Watch Group dissolved
Moscow City Court has dissolved the Moscow-Helsinki Watch Group
At the end of 2022, the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation demanded the dissolution of the Moscow-Helsinki Watch Group.
The newspaper Kommersant quotes the court’s decision “to grant the Ministry of Justice’s petition to dissolve the human rights council”.
The Ministry of Justice’s demand to dissolve the organisation was based on the findings of an unscheduled inspection. The reason for the claim was the activity of the Moscow-Helsinki Group (MHG) outside of Moscow. The Ministry notes that the MHG is a Moscow regional organisation and should therefore not violate the “limits of [its] territorial activity” or take part in conferences in other regions of the country. At the time of inspection, the organisation’s employees were observing trials in various cities and addressing regional authorities.
Kommersant noted that during the court session, the Ministry of Justice and the Prosecutor’s office pointed to 11 violations. Among these violations are an appeal to Alexander Bagalov, the Governor of St Petersburg, and an online lecture for human rights defenders from Krasnodar on the work of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
Henry Reznik, a member of the Moscow-Helsinki Group, has announced his intention to appeal the court’s decision.
The Moscow Helsinki Group is the oldest Russian human rights organisation. It was founded in 1976 by Soviet physicist and human rights activist Yuri Orlov. The organisation aims to promote the implementation of the humanitarian articles of the 1975 Helsinki Accords, dedicated to the protection of civil, political, economic, social, cultural, and other human rights and freedoms.