Dmitriev: “It’s normal to be persecuted” (December 2021)

Before sentence was again passed in Petrozavodsk, and demands for the closure of Memorial were heard in Moscow, Yury DMITRIEV replied to questions from Anna Yarovaya, who published some of the earliest articles about the Karelian researcher.

They communicated via the Letters service of the Federal Penal Agency; she did not receive replies to many of her questions.

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HOW I JOINED MEMORIAL

In 1988, interested citizens formed an action group to set up a Popular Front of Karelia (PFK). I was invited to join the Front after it had existed for 6-7 months:[1] Vova B. came to see me at work and asked me to attend their meeting. I went and gave them some practical advice. Without noticing I became an active PFK member.

Yury A. Dmitriev, 1998

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A “demonstratively unlawful” decision

Interviewed this morning on Echo Moskvy radio station, DMITRIEV’s defence attorney Victor Anufriev since December 2016 said he would appeal against the new sentence.

… this sentence, in my view, is demonstratively unlawful. This is the THIRD time there has been a judicial hearing, and it’s the only occasion on which the court totally ignored every one of my petitions, including those aimed at securing evidence which proved Yury Dmitriev’s innocence.

One hundred per cent (100%) of my petitions were rejected. In other words, the court moved towards a predefined goal and clearly favoured the prosecution.”

Echo Moskvy, 28 December 2021
(10.38 am Moscow Time)

“I’m a tough old fellow …

I know a thing or two …” said DMITRIEV in a letter (see below) the day before the new sentence was announced.

DMITRIEV chats briefly with his lawyers Victor Anufriev and Roman Masalyov; video taken by Nikita Girin for Novaya gazeta.

Dmitriev’s words quoted above come from a letter he wrote to journalist Zoya Svetova. She received it on 26 December 2021. There he also said that in his Last Words to the court he declared he was proud to be a member of Memorial.