With this letter we join the hundreds of Russian intellectuals, activists and citizens who have expressed their full support for Dmitriev and for others targeted with arrest and other intimidatory acts for their part in documenting the history of the USSR.
We call for Dmitriev’s immediate release. He must be allowed to resume his research on the history of the Gulag and his work to name and commemorate the victims of that system.
We ask that academic freedom be guaranteed to Dmitriev and to all researchers and NGOs active in the field.
“Unacceptable and inhuman methods have been deployed: pressure on Dmitriev’s adopted daughter; manipulation of the child’s consciousness in order to get her to testify against a person close to her,” say two hundred prominent Russians who have come out in defence of Yury DMITRIEV, writes Halya Coynash.
The authors of the appeal, posted on 28 October, note that the Karelian investigators and prosecutors were not merely unwilling to recognize that their behaviour and the charges against Dmitriev had been unlawful. They got the first acquittal revoked and then added even more serious charges, this time of ‘violent acts of a sexual nature’ which could carry a 20-year sentence.