A court in the Russian capital has ordered the dissolution of the Moscow Helsinki Group, a human rights organisation founded during the Soviet era.
The court upheld a request from the Russian Justice Ministry for the group to be dissolved, Judge Mikhail Kazakov announced on Wednesday. The nongovernmental organisation has said it will appeal.
The Moscow Helsinki Group (MHG) was founded in 1976 in the apartment of Nobel Peace Prize winner Andrei Sakharov. It is Russia's oldest civil rights organisation.
The Justice Ministry had accused the group of operating outside the Moscow region in violation of the law and, for example, being present at trials in other parts of the country.
The judge's decision was not unexpected since Russia's courts are widely believed to be under the control of the Kremlin, and many NGOs complain of political persecution by the judiciary.
Prominent human rights activist Lyudmila Alekseyeva was president of the MHG until her death in 2018.