Prosecutor demands 9-year sentence for Yury Dmitriev

The Serbsky Institute, the organisation which Prosecutor Askerova requested to assess Dmitriev’s mental state and the nine supposedly pornographic photos, effectively demolished the prosecution case, by declaring that the photos had no sexual content or purpose and that Dmitriev was himself normal mentally.

In her closing statement, however, Yelena Askerova demanded that YURY DMITRIEV be found guilty as charged and given a 9-year setence of imprisonment.

On Thursday, 22 March, the defence will make its closing statement and the judge will withdraw to consider her verdict.

After today’s hearing. Dmitriev with his daughter Katya. Defence attorney Victor Anufriev talks to journalists

Closing statements on 20 and 22 March

“I know it will be difficult to put together a support group three times at the Petrozavodsk courthouse, so I consulted Victor Anufriev,” wrote Daniil Saksonov on 10 March. Dmitriev’s lawyer said that the hearing on 14 March would “not be very important”, just an additional examination of one witness.

The following Tuesday, 20 March, marks the beginning of the closing statements by prosecution and defence and it would be important that people came to Petrozavodsk on that day. “Let’s try to make it!” wrote Saksonov who lectures at the Moscow Film School. “Getting away from Moscow or St Petersburg is not easy, but let’s get together. Please send us a message if you can come.

“We’re hoping that Yury Alexeyevich [Dmitriev] will lead another excursion for visitors around memorial sites near Petrozavodsk (most probably to Krasny Bor).”

Facebook, 10 March 2018

Saksonov and son

Daniil Saksonov

Only three hearings to go?

“It’s very important to gather people for the last three hearings, we hope, at the Petrozavodsk city courthouse,” wrote Daniil Saksonov on 2 March. The court would again hear the Dmitriev case on Wednesday, 14 March, and on Tuesday and Thursday, 20 and 22 March, respectively.

“It would be a pity, you must agree, if the corridors were full of sympathisers at all the court hearings hitherto and now, when we’re in the home straight, they were suddenly empty. Especially since a wonderful opportunity has appeared to spend some time with YURY ALEXEYEVICH [Dmitriev] after the hearing. On Wednesday, 14 March, for instance, he will guide people around the Krasny Bor memorial complex. Events are being arranged for the other two days, as well.

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“Scoundrels thought up this case” (Chudakova)

After her journey from Moscow to Petrozavodsk to express her support for Yury Dmitriev, the redoutable literary specialist MARIETTA CHUDAKOVA found time to give a public lecture on Memory, history textbooks and how “the present generation of idiots” in Russia was raising the next …

She also responded to questions from the media, as is now the custom,  in the courthouse corridor. Karelia’s State Radio & Televion Company did not include her words, however, in that evening’s news broadcast.

in Russian (English summary
or translation available presently)

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Serbsky Institute dismisses charges. Next hearing, 14 March

Russia’s Serbsky Institute has rejected any grounds for the charges against YURY DMITRIEV, renowned historian and Head of the Karelia branch of the Memorial Society. Even an institute notorious for its use of punitive psychiatry in Soviet times was not willing to take part in the politically motivated attempt to imprison Dmitriev for up to 15 years and stated clearly that the historian “is not a paedophile”.  The result comes after Dmitriev spent 13 months in detention on charges that aroused concern far beyond his native Karelia.

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Serbsky verdict: Dmitriev sane, photos not pornographic

At today’s long-awaited court hearing, the first since YURY DMITRIEV returned from Moscow and was released from custody, the findings of the Serbsky Institute were made public: the court had required the institute to assess Dmitriev’s mental state and the status of the photographs he took of his foster daughter Natasha.

Dmitriev arrives for Feb 2018 hearing

Dmitriev arrives for court hearing

The specialists at the Serbsky Institute in Moscow found that Dmitriev is in his right mind and does not require in-patient treatment at any psychiatric institution. They also concurred with the experts who reported to the Petrozavodsk City Court on 27 December 2017 that there was no element of pornography in the nine photos cited by the prosecution as evidence of abuse.

This would seem to demolish emphatically the prosecution case. There are no charges to be answered and, failing a term of imprisonment, neither can there be any justiciation for shutting the historian away for an indefinite period of treatment  in a psychiatric hospital.

It also raises the hope that, after over a year’s separation and lack of any contact, Dmitriev will be re-united with Natasha, his foster daughter.

Little about this case has been straightforward, however. Victor Anufriev, Dmitriev’s defence attorney, who has successfully guided the trial proceedings towards this resolution, counsels caution. Until Dmitriev has been acquitted, and that verdict confirmed by a higher court (the prosecution seem almost certain to appeal against such an outcome) the trial is by no means over.

John Crowfoot
27 February 2018

Historian Accused Of “Religious Hatred”

YURY BRODSKY sees the far northern Solovki Archipelago as a kaleidoscopic microcosm of Russia – its history, culture, nature, and spirit all brought together in one remote and windswept corner of a vast country. “The most varied people come here and they all need Solovki,” says Brodsky. “It can change your world view. I’m trying to say that Solovki is a reflection of our entire world, of our entire history.”

Recently, his latest book about Solovki was reviewed on an Orthodox website. While the reviewer notes the author’s “feeling of love for Solovki”, he charges that it also demonstrates “a dislike, a surprising dislike, of the centuries-long history of the Solovetsky Monastery and Orthodox Russia.”  Continue reading

Court upholds Bochkaryova’s right to apartment

On Monday, 19th February, the Primorsky (Maritime) district court in the Archangelsk Region ruled in favour of OLGA BOCHKARYOVA in her dispute with the director of the Solovki Museum, Archimandrite Porfiry (Vladimir Shutov).

Bochkareva wins case

Olga Bochkaryova (right) with her lawyer Marina Agaltsova outside the courthouse

This confirms her right of ownership to the two-room apartment where she and her daughter currently live: Bochkaryova does not own or have any other place to live.

In a commentary on the result, defense attorney Marina Agaltsova noted that the statute of limitation for any challenge to the contract transferring the apartment to Bochkaryova had already expired. A counter-claim advanced by Bochkaryova and her lawyer concerned State registration of the contract documenting the transfer of the property.

That application was greatly helped, commented Agaltsova, by the prosecutor who supported Bochkaryova’s argument. The prosecutor applied to the Register and received confirmation that no approval by the Ministry of Culture was required at the time the contract was concluded in 2011.

Since the late 1980s Bochkaryova has been a research associate at the Solovki Museum. In 2016, however, the Gulag section at the Museum was closed and she lost her job.

The coalition of human-rights activists
19 February 2018

Head of Museum’s disbanded Gulag section threatened with eviction

Attempts are being made to turn OLGA BOCHKARYOVA out of the accommodation transferred into her private ownership in 2011 by the Solovki Museum administration.

Bochkareva, Olga

Olga Bochkaryova

On 1 January 2016, the Gulag section at the museum was disbanded and its head, Olga Bochkaryova, was dismissed from her post. Тhe present museum director, Vladimir V. Shutov, who is, simultaneously, Father Superior of the Solovetsky Monastery [as Archimandrite Porfiry], has now asked the courts to declare the 2011 agreement null and void. The case is being examined by the Maritime district court  of the Arkhangelsk Region. A decision is expected on Monday, 19 February. Bochkaryova is being represented by defence attorney Marina Agaltsova.

Since 1988, Olga Bochkaryova has researched the history of the Solovki special purpose camp and run the museum’s section about the Gulag. She created a permanent exhibition about the camp (and prison) in one of the former camp barracks in Solovetsky town. Over the years she has provided advice and information to relatives of those imprisoned in the camp and helped them track down documents concerning their loved ones.

The coalition of human rights activists
16 February 2018

“I’m trying to finish what’s most important” (Golgotha, part 6)

Yury Dmitriev in his own words

I first met students from the Moscow Film School, it seems, at Sandarmokh. They had come for the Day of Remembrance on 5 August. As it happened, one of the buses I’d laid on was empty and they travelled on it to the graveyard and back. They were greatly impressed and began asking me about local history.

Later they wrote me a letter: “Let us help you in some way.” I took up the offer and we went to Peter the Great’s arms factory. The next year they said: “We’d like to help again.” We worked at the Badger’s Hill graveyard. They wanted to help again, and that’s when we started going to Solovki.

Dmitriev with Film School students

Yury Dmitriev with Moscow Film School students

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