Russian authorities on Tuesday raided the homes and offices of multiple human rights advocates and historians with the prominent rights group Memorial that won the Nobel Peace Prize last year.
The wave of searches, after which police took Memorial activists in for questioning, is part of a steady and sweeping crackdown that the Kremlin has unleashed against dissent in recent years. It has intensified after Moscow invaded Ukraine more than a year ago.
Memorial was founded in the Soviet Union in 1987 to ensure the victims of communist repression would be remembered. It has continued to compile information on human rights abuses and track the fate of political prisoners in Russia while facing a relentless crackdown from the Kremlin in recent years. The group had been declared a “foreign agent,” a designation that brings additional government scrutiny and carries strong pejorative connotations, and over the years was ordered to pay massive fines for alleged violations of the “foreign agent” law. Russia’s Supreme Court ordered it shut down in December 2021, a move that sparked outcry in Russia and abroad.
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