Russian human rights group International Memorial and its sister organization Human Rights Centre Memorial are being forced to close by Russian prosecutors for supposedly not labeling themselves “foreign agents”. They were founded by Nobel Peace Prize winner Andrei Sakharov and have been doing important work on preserving Russian historic documents and monitoring violations of human rights in Russia.
November 19, 2021
Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin
President of the Russian Federation
Fax: +7 495 9102134
Dear President Putin:
The Committee of Concerned Scientists is an independent organization of scientists, physicians, engineers, and scholars devoted to the protection and advancement of human rights and scientific freedom for colleagues all over the world.
This communication involves the human rights group International Memorial and its sister organization, the Human Rights Centre Memorial. On November 11 and 12, 2021, the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office requested that Russia’s Supreme Court liquidate the Russian organizations Memorial International and Memorial Human Rights Centre. They have been accused of violating government requests to label themselves “foreign agents,” a highly questionable designation, since their purpose is to preserve Russian historic documents and monitor violation of human rights in Russia. These accusations appear especially egregious because these organizations were founded by Andrei Sakharov, and their work has been conducted by his followers.
The Committee is concerned that these actions by the Prosecutor General stem from the desire to erase the memory of oppressions during the Soviet era and hide human rights violations that occur in Russia today. We urge you to repeal these decisions against the Memorial organizations and to ensure that they be allowed to operate freely in the country.
Thank you for your attention to this serious matter. We will closely follow developments in this case.
Joel L. Lebowitz, Paul H. Plotz, Walter Reich,
Eugene M. Chudnovsky, Alexander Greer
Co-Chairs, Committee of Concerned Scientists
Antony J. Blinken, Secretary of State
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20520
Phone: (202) 647-4000
Ambassador Anatoly Antonov
Embassy of the Russian Federation
2650 Wisconsin Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20007
Phone: (202) 298-5700
Fax: (202) 298=5735