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Court orders dissolution of Moscow Helsinki Group, Russia’s oldest human rights organization

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The Moscow City Court has ruled in favor of a Justice Ministry motion to dissolve Russia’s oldest human rights organization, the Moscow Helsinki Group (MHG), reported Mediazona citing its courtoom correspondent.

The formal reason for the decision was that MHG members “participated in activities outside the [designated] region” of Moscow. Specifically, the Justice Ministry claimed that the MHG monitored court proceedings and wrote an appeal to the Governor's Office in St. Petersburg.

Russia’s Ministry of Justice also found the MHG charter, which was adopted in 2018, to be “non-compliant with the law.”

The MHG’s stated mission is promoting human rights and democracy in Russia. Since its foundation by a group of dissidents in 1976, the group has identified human rights violations and taken action to ensure the Russian authorities comply with their international human rights obligations.

In March, a Moscow court ordered the dissolution of another veteran human rights group, Memorial, at the Justice Ministry’s request. Memorial was subsequently awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

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