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Letter in support of the Russian Memorial Society

The Professor Bronisław Geremek Centre Foundation is one of the signatories of a letter addressed to the Minister of Justice and the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation in support of the Memorial Society. The text of the document, published on 4th  November 2014, follows below:

We, Polish NGOs, operating independently of the political authorities and representing diverse spheres of public life, call on the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation and the Supreme Court of the RF to ensure a fair and politically unbiased consideration of the case of the Russian Memorial Society.

On  13th  November  2014 the Supreme Court is to  rule in Moscow on the further legal activity of the Society. The lawsuit, referring to dubious administrative irregularities (not specified under the law), threatens the dissolution of the Society. Such a decision, disproportionate to the charges, would impair the social interest of Russia and its international environment.

Memorial is not the  property of  state authorities. Throughout its 27-year activity it has claimed a permanent place in the framework of contemporary democratic Europe  as an important component of the European civil society.  In many places on the continent consent to  Memorial’s activity  is seen as a measure of social freedom in Russia. In recognition of  this role, Poland nominated  Memorial for the Nobel Peace Prize. We believe that both its work to uphold historical memory and its defense of human rights – also in the course of military aggression -  make Memorial the conscience of more than Russia alone.  Official repressions  against the Society would constitute another affirmation of the importance of its mission. Alas, we hope that justice will prevail.

Warsaw, 4th  November  2014

 

Karta Centre; Centre for Research and Documentation of the Polish Struggle for Independence; Centre for Citizenship Education; Federation of Katyn Families; Solidarity Centre Foundation; Education for Democracy Foundation; Prof. Bronisław Geremek Centre Foundation; Independence Foundation;  Stefan Batory Foundation; Foundation for Polish Science;  Civil Society Development Foundation; “Tygodnik Powszechny” Foundation; “Za Wolność Waszą i Naszą” Foundation; Helsinki Foundation for Human  Rights; Institute of Public Affairs; Jan Nowak-Jeziorański College of  Eastern Europe ; German Community “Reconciliation and Future”; All-Polish Federation of NGOs; “Brama Grodzka” Centre;  Borderland Centre; Polish Robert Schuman Foundation; Polish Pen Club; Polish Historical Society; Civic Network “Watchdog”; Polish Journalists’ Association; Homo Faber Association; Stanisław Brzozowski Association (“Krytyka Polityczna”); Polish Writers’ Association; “Pokolenie” Association; Stowarzyszenie Wolnego Słowa, World Union of Home Army