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Closure of Moscow Helsinki Group, ‘yet another blow to human rights’ in Russia: OHCHR

Russian authorities need to refrain from moving to close up the organization down or   from “stifling reporting” upon serious issues of legitimate public interest. “This nationwide attack on independent journalism and dissenting voices has intensified since the Russian Federation’s equipped attack on Ukraine”, stated Ms. Hurtado.

Justice ministry treatment

The lawsuit against MHG was based on an inspection by the Justice ministry last year, which the team says was illegal. MHG was founded in 1976 by well-known dissidents and documented on human rights violations in the former Soviet Union (USSR) and later the particular Russian Federation, she observed. It’s named after the Helsinki accords, an international agreement agreed upon by the Soviet Government which usually defended rights and essential freedoms. She mentioned it was incumbent on the Govt to “allow debate associated with diverse and plural voices, within society and in the particular media, in line with its human rights obligations. ”

‘Nationwide crackdown’

According to news reports, MHG had always had a wider remit, and the group hit back again at the ruling saying it would appeal, calling the determine “disproportionate” and vowing to keep with its work. Helen Hurtado said in a statement that the judgement was only the latest “in a series of activities against civil society”, journalists, other media and resistance groups and human legal rights defenders.

Stop gagging reporters

She added that any restrictions to freedom of opinion and expression and freedom of association – core legal rights in democratic societies – “must conform to the rigorous tests of necessity and proportionality in the pursuit of the best purpose. ”  Its closure was based on a Justice Ministry suit alleging the organization was only registered to defend human legal rights in Moscow, and not consist of parts of the country, arguing that it therefore lacked the correct registration.


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