A historian renowned for discovering mass graves of Stalin’s terror victims has been put on trial in Russia accused of taking abusive images of a child that friends and colleagues say are fabricated and designed to put a stop to his work (writes the London Times). Yuri Dmitriev, 61, faces up to 15 years in prison if he is found guilty of using his adopted daughter create the images.
The Trial of Yury Dmitriev
Yury Dmitriev is an exceptional scholar of Stalinist repression, and his pioneering methods of locating and identifying the graves of victims have helped him to make a substantial contribution to that important field of historical research. He is a senior member of ‘Memorial’.
Yury was arrested in December last year, and is on trial in the Republic of Karelia (Russian Federation) on serious charges not related to his research. The British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies (BASEES) has no wish to pre-empt legal process, but it notes that Memorial, and international human rights organisations have raised grave concerns about the methods used in the investigation by law-enforcement agencies in the Republic of Karelia and the conduct of the trial which is taking place in closed session. Yury Dmitriev has been held on remand and denied bail and his legal team have serious questions about the nature of the prosecution’s evidence that have not been answered. Continue reading