Russia’s Interior Ministry puts Russian human rights lawyer on wanted list

It comes as no surprise that under the tightening dictatorial grip of the Kremlin and with Russia implementing its racist politics in Ukraine that the lawyer found himself in Moscow’s crosshairs. Photo: Twitter/@vertiporokh

The Russian Interior Ministry put Ilya Novikov, a lawyer defending a proscribed Russian human rights organisation, on its wanted list, NEXTA reported on Thursday.

Memorial Association activists arrested during anti-war protest in Moscow

see more

The ministry said he was “wanted under an article of the Criminal Code” but would not specify which one applied.

Mr Novikov, 40, is known for defending in trials the Anti-Corruption Foundation, the human rights organization "Memorial" and Ukrainian pilot Nadiya Savchenko.

It comes as no surprise that under the tightening dictatorial grip of the Kremlin and with Russia implementing its racist politics in Ukraine that the lawyer found himself in Moscow’s crosshairs. On November 25, the Russian Ministry of Justice added six more people to the list of individuals performing the functions of a foreign agent, including Ilya Novikov.

There’s no place for “Memorial” in Russia


Russia’s oldest human rights organisation “Memorial” was dissolved by the Russian authorities in late 2021. To oppose the development, a small protest was held in front of Russia’s Supreme court in late December 2021 but was soon pacified by Russian services, with police detaining several people.

Moreover, about a dozen people attended a vigil held at a memorial to victims of political repression in Sankt Petersburg.

The Memorial group focused on historical research into the crimes committed by the Soviet government. The decision to dissolve the group was justified by suspected violations of the law on organisations funded from abroad. The prosecution alleged that the group failed to display the information describing it as a “Foreign Agent”, required by law from organisations that receive funds from abroad.

Furthermore, a related organisation, called Human Rights Center Memorial, was also dissolved by a city court in Moscow.

The prosecution accused the Human Rights Center of publishing extremist content. It also stated that dissolving the institution would be in the interest of the state. The Memorial Human Rights Center was accused of creating a negative view of the Russian state, in parallel to how the main Memorial International group was accused of slandering the Soviet Union.

In March 2022, activists of the “Memorial” Alexander Guryanov and Oleg Orlov were arrested during an anti-war protest in Moscow. The arrests took place at the Theatre Square near the Bolshoi Theatre. The activists arrived in the square and held up posters with anti-war slogans. Several minutes later they were approached by police officers and taken to a police station.

Polish President Andrzej Duda defended Memorial and together with other Polish officials have strongly criticised the decision of the Russian Supreme Court.

source: