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The Ministry of Justice wants Mari El's only human rights organization closed down

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The Ministry of Justice has demanded Man and Law, human rights organization, be terminated. The organization's chairwoman, Irina Protasova, reported the news on Idel.Realia on January 30.

In December 2022,  the Ministry of Justice conducted an unscheduled inspection of the organization. Its results were used for a lawsuit filed to the Supreme Court of Mari El. According to Irina Protasova, the officials, explaining their demands, allege the political nature of the organization. The human rights activists have tried to challenge the conclusions of the Ministry of Justice, but the court has dismissed their complaint.

Founded in 1999, Man and Law is the only human rights organization in Mari El. The organization has been involved in a number of high-profile cases including investigations of torture by the security services. With its assistance, the victims applied to the ECHR. In 2014, Man and Law was officially declared a “foreign agent.” In the following years, the courts fined the organization three times.

At the end of 2022, Man and the Law was granted consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council. With it, the organization can participate in the work of UN subsidiary bodies and provide expert evaluations.

Courts in Russia have liquidated several human rights organizations in recent years. On December 28, 2021, the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation ruled to terminate Memorial International and the Memorial Human Rights Center. On January 25, 2023, the Moscow City Court liquidated the Moscow Helsinki Group.


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