A joint complaint has been lodged with the European Court of Human Rights against the unlawful searches of the organisations’ offices which took place on 4 March 2022. «The searches were carried out with numerous gross violations of criminal procedural law», was reported in an official appeal from the Memorial Human Rights Defence Centre.
The reason for the appeal was a decision of the Meshchansky District Court, which on 20 and 27 May rejected the organisations’ complaints and found the searches lawful. International Memorial* and the Human Rights Centre* intend to argue that «the search constituted an interference which was not necessary in a democratic society».
On 4 March, Federal Security Service and Russian national guard officers arrived at the offices of both organisations, sealed the building, preventing employees and lawyers from entering, and began a search. During the inspection, personal equipment was seized and the safe with documents was broken open. The staff reported that the security forces also painted the walls of the offices with the letters Z and V, symbolizing the support of the invasion to Ukraine, and left the inscription «Мемориал – всё» [Memorial is over].