Memorial International receives the Nobel Peace Prize

Monday, 10 October 2022 - 12:00 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General
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© Definite1ymaybe

© Definite1ymaybe

Memorial is an international human rights organisation, founded in Russia during the fall of the Soviet Union to study and examine the human rights violations and other crimes committed under Joseph Stalin‘s reign. Prior to its dissolution in Russia, it consisted of two separate legal entities, Memorial International, whose purpose was the recording of the crimes against humanity committed in the Soviet Union, particularly during the Stalinist era, and the Memorial Human Rights Centre, which focused on the protection of human rights, especially in conflict zones in and around modern Russia. A movement rather than a centralized organization, as of December 2021 Memorial encompassed over 50 organisations in Russia and 11 in other countries, including Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Germany, Italy, Belgium and France. Although the focus of affiliated groups differs from region to region, they share similar concerns about human rights, documenting the past, educating young people and marking remembrance days for the victims of political repression.

Memorial emerged during the perestroika years of the late 1980s, to document the crimes against humanity committed in the USSR during the 20th century and help surviving victims of the Great Terror and the Gulag and their families. Between 1987 and 1990, while the USSR was still in existence, 23 branches of the society were established. When the Soviet Union collapsed, branches of Memorial in Ukraine remained affiliated to the Russian network. Some of the oldest branches of Memorial in northwest and central Russia, the Urals and Siberia later developed websites documenting independent local research and publicized the crimes of the Soviet regime in their region.

Gulag location map © NordNordWest © Definite1ymaybe
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Gulag location map © NordNordWest
After the Russian foreign agent law was passed in July 2012, Memorial came under increasing government pressure. On 21 July 2014, the Memorial Human Rights Centre was declared a “foreign agent” by the Ministry of Justice. The label was extended in November 2015 to the Research & Information Centre at St. Petersburg Memorial, and on 4 October 2016 to Memorial International itself. On 28 December 2021, the Supreme Court of Russia ordered Memorial International to close for violations of the foreign agent law. A lawyer for Memorial said it would appeal. The Memorial Human Rights Centre was ordered shut by the Moscow City Court on 29 December 2021; state prosecutors accused it of breaching the foreign agent law and supporting terrorism and extremism. On the same day, the European Court of Human Rights applied an interim measure instructing Russia to halt the forced dissolution of Memorial, pending the outcome of litigation.

Memorial as a legal entity in Russia was closed and liquidated on 5 April 2022. Some of Memorial’s human rights activities have continued in Russia. Memorial continues to operate in other countries, notably in Germany where its oldest and largest non-Russian chapter is based. In October 2022, Memorial was one of the three laureates of that year’s Nobel Peace Prize, alongside Ukrainian human rights organisation Centre for Civil Liberties and Belarusian activist Ales Bialiatski, for their efforts in “document[ing] war crimes, human rights abuses, and the abuse of power”.

Historical revisionism has been in full swing in Russia for several years. In the case of Memorial, however, Putin and his henchmen came too late. The archives were secured in good time and taken abroad so that the extensive research results are still available. However, further research work is now significantly more difficult.

Read more on International Memorial, DW, 7 October 2022: Russia seizes office of Nobel Peace Prize winner Memorial and Wikipedia International Memorial (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.






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