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Assembly for the Republic in Defence of the Russian Human Rights Organisation Memorial: For More Than Thirty Years It Has Been Raising Awareness of the History of the Soviet Totalitarianism

The Assembly for the Republic joins the statement of the Platform of European Memory and Conscience regarding the liquidation of the Russian international memorial organisation called Memorial and emphasises that denying the consequences of totalitarianisms of the last century will not relieve these societies of the burden of dangerous social devastation.

“Examples, such as Nemtsov, Navalny, Memorial and others, are just some of the images of behaviour that brutally violates the principles of democracy and human rights.” Every authoritarian persecution of the truth, as well as the spreading of lies, creates new divisions and new injustices, regardless of whether it is political, judicial, or media power that is doing it.

Therefore, the Assembly for the Republic calls on the Russian authorities to protect the right to the remembrance of victims caused by the totalitarian system of the last century and later times. We see the European Parliament and the European Commission as defenders of the right to remember the victims of the totalitarian system.

We also see them as the defenders of the right to know the truth, to redress injustices, as defenders of freedom of speech and democratic political action in the wider related cultural space, in which we also see Russia. “That is why we are also calling on the central institutions of the European Union to respond more decisively to drastic violations of human dignity, wherever they occur,” the Assembly for the Republic wrote in its statement.  

For more than thirty years, Memorial has been raising awareness of the history of the totalitarian regime in the Soviet Union
We would also like to add the statement made by the Platform of European Memory and Conscience, which was created in Prague, on the 5th of January 2022: “On the 28th of December 2021, the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation decided to shut down the Russian International Memorial Organisation.” In addition to earlier accusations of violation of the “foreign agent” legislation, the prosecutor accused Memorial of “creating a false image of the Soviet Union as a terrorist state, the defamation of the memory of the Great Patriotic War, and an attempt to rehabilitate Nazi criminals.”

The Platform of European Memory and Conscience condemns the liquidation of Memorial in Russia. The Memorial organisation has, over the course of more than 30 years, been raising awareness about the history of the totalitarian regime in the Soviet Union as well as other Communist regimes, built up on the Soviet example and with Soviet support. The efforts of Memorial in preserving the memory of the victims of Communist crimes are known worldwide. Their input into recovering forgotten histories of mass repression both in the former Soviet Union and abroad is hard to overestimate. In addition to that, the work of Memorial in protecting human rights in contemporary Russia and other countries is invaluable.

The European Parliament and the European Commission should take action to ensure that the Memorial continues to operate
In addition to that, the work of Memorial in protecting human rights in contemporary Russia and other countries is invaluable.
The Platform of European Memory and Conscience calls on the European Parliament and the European Commission to take action to guarantee the continuation of the work of the Memorial organisation, Russian historians and human rights activists in uncovering the totalitarian Communist past as well as the various forms of its legacy in the modern world. “We call on all individuals and organisations involved with memory and remembrance and the protection of human rights to join an international campaign of solidarity with Memorial.”

Domen Mezeg 

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