The Moscow City Court orders liquidation of SOVA Center

On April 27, 2023 Judge Vyacheslav Polyga of the Moscow City Court considered the request filed by Russia’s Ministry of Justice to liquidate the Regional Public Association "Sova" and decided to approve the request.

Our petition requesting postponement of the proceedings until the Gagarinskiy District Court considers the counterclaim of SOVA Center against the Moscow Department of the Ministry of Justice was not granted. The formal reason for the liquidation of SOVA was the organization of and participation in events outside its region of registration (Moscow).

The court did not agree with the arguments of the defense that participation in events outside Moscow is not a violation of the law. The court also disagreed with the claim that even if such participation was considered a violation, it certainly should not be considered intentional and gross, and therefore the liquidation of the Center was a disproportionate measure.

We certainly do not agree with the decision of the Moscow City Court and will appeal. SOVA Center will continue to operate until the liquidation order comes into force.