Russia attempting to shut one of its oldest human rights organizations

Photo by Wikimedia Commons

The Moscow Helsinki Group was formed in 1976 and grew to become one of the principal civil society mechanisms for exposing human rights abuses both in the Soviet Union as well as Russia 

The Russian government is trying to clamp down on one of the country´s oldest human rights organization, known as the Moscow Helsinki Group. According to a report by Reuters on Tuesday, December 20, this attempt by the government has become more evident after  a notice appeared on a Moscow court website against the organization.  

A quote by Valery Borshov, co-chair of the Moscow Helsinki Group, cited in the report said, “Authorities had put forward a nonsense allegation that the group’s own charters barred it from defending human rights outside the capital – something it has always openly done”.  

Borshov further added that the Russian authorities were delibetately attempting to destroy the most respected human rights organisation in the country. “The Moscow Helsinki Group is the oldest human rights organisation in the country, so the fact that the authorities want to liquidate us does not surprise me at all”, he said, as per the report.  

The Moscow Helsinki Group was originally founded in 1976 by Soviet dissident scientists and human rights activists to monitor the Soviet Union’s compliance with the Helsinki Accords. The report said, over the years the group grew to become one of the biggest civil society mechanisms, aimed at exposing human rights in the Soviet Union era, as well as present day Russia.  

The report also suggest that since the invasion of Ukraine in February, Russian President Vladimir Putin has increased the process to supress “dissenting views, whether from independent media, non-governmental rights groups or political opponents”.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article, do remember to come back and check out the EuroNews247 website for all your up-to-date European news stories.