Rights Group of the Week: Memorial Research & Information Centre


On 6 November 2015 the Ministry of Justice declared the Memorial Research and Information Centre, based in St. Petersburg, a 'foreign agent' NGO. The Memorial Research and Information Centre includes an archive, a library, premises for discussions and exhibitions, and an online GULAG museum. The Centre was founded in 1991 by Veniamin Ioffe as a research centre to support Memorial's work on historical archives. Arseny Roginsky, chair of International Memorial Society, described the decision of the Ministry of Justice as 'an enormous blow for all those who work on preserving the memory of Soviet terror.'

Memorial Research and Information Centre issued the following statement on its website:
"On 6 November 2015 the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation issued a decision designating Memorial Research and Information Centre in St Petersburg a 'foreign agent'. This decision binds us, in particular, to add to all our publications and materials an announcement that they were prepared by 'an organization fulfilling the functions of a foreign agent.' Memorial Research and Information Centre declares that it does not intend to add a label of this kind to its publications. At the same time Memorial Research and Information Centre will not cease its work, and all its projects and programmes will be continued. We inform all those concerned that the public activities formerly carried out by Memorial Research and Information Centre will be conducted by the Veniamin Ioffe Centre for History and Education."

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