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Russian court shuts down country’s oldest rights group


MOSCOW (AP) — A court in Moscow has ruled to shut down Russia’s oldest human rights organization. The Moscow City Court on Wednesday sustained the petition of Russia’s Justice Ministry to liquidate the Moscow Helsinki Group. The ministry has accused the organization of violating its legal registration in Moscow by working on human rights cases outside the Russian capital. The group said the accusations were “minute and absurd.” The Moscow Helsinki Group was founded in 1976 and demanded freedom for political prisoners and establishment of democratic rights. Over the past two years, the Kremlin has unleashed a sweeping crackdown on rights groups, independent media outlets and opposition activists, pushing back against any sign of dissent.

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