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HRC Memorial

HRC "Memorial" is a human rights organisation that provides legal assistance to victims of gross human rights violations and is involved in human rights education, research and publications. HRC Memorial is particularly active in the North Caucasus and has regional offices in Chechnya, Ingushetia, Dagestan and Kabardino-Balkaria.


Human rights defenders (HRDs) in the Russian Federation have been subjected to acts of harassment, surveillance, violations of the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly, violent attacks, raids and searches on their offices and homes, slander and smear campaigns, judicial harassment, arbitrary detention and ill-treatment.

The entry into force of the so-called 'Foreign Agent' law, in December 2012, marked the start of the most severe crackdown against HRDs since the end of Soviet era. The law required organisations receiving foreign funding and carrying out “political activities” to register as foreign agents. However, the definition of “political activities” is extremely broad and has been interpreted as encompassing groups carrying out human rights advocacy or defending of voters' rights.