Russia - France strongly denounces the dissolution of the Sakharov Centre and arrest of the Co-Chairman and members of the NGO Golos - Communique issued by the ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs (August 18, 2023)


France strongly denounces the decision by the Russian judicial system to dissolve Moscow’s Sakharov Centre. A respected institution in Russian civil society, guardian of Nobel Peace Prize winner Andrei Sakharov’s legacy, the Centre fostered a space for free, committed expression through conferences and exhibitions. Since being designated a “foreign agent” in 2014, the Centre had come under pressure on many occasions from the Russian authorities.

This dissolution once again illustrates the campaign of repression being waged by the Russian authorities against those still speaking out freely in Russia, particularly the main Russian NGOs committed to defending human rights, like Memorial and the [Moscow] Helsinki Group.

France also expresses its deep concern following the arrest of the Co-Chairman and members of the NGO “Golos”, an election-monitoring specialist. These repressive, arbitrary actions once again demonstrate the Russian authorities’ contempt for the rule of law and democratic principles.