Yury Dmitriev in his Petrozavodsk apartment
(photo, Hester den Boer)
On Friday, 13 December 2016, the police knocked at the door and arrested the 60-year-old historian.
Dmitriev has been held in custody ever since, at the city’s Detention Centre No 1. In early June 2017 his trial began at the Petrozavodsk City Court (see Timeline). Recently, his term of preventative custody was extended until late January 2018.
Yury Dmitriev categorically denies he is guilty. He took photos of his 11-year-old adoptive daughter as a record of her state of health, said Sergei Krivenko, citing the words of Dmitriev’s defence attorney Victor Anufriev.
According to Krivenko, when Dmitriev adopted the girl [Natasha] she was very thin, one might say emaciated, and the adoption agency ordered Dmitriev to follow her development closely. The day before his arrest, said Krivenko, the prosecutor’s office were informed anonymously that such photos could be found on Dmitriev’s computer. Who might have learned of their existence, and how, is for the time being incomprehensible.
(Translation in progress – full Russian original follows) Continue reading
International Memorial Society
Karetny Ryad, 5/10
Prosecutor of the Republic of Karelia
185910 Republic of Karelia
4, German Titov Street
16 December 2016
Dear Mr Prosecutor,
On 13 December the local historian and public figure Yury Dmitriev was detained in Petrozavodsk.
We have known Yury Alexeyevich Dmitriev for many years as a researcher into the history of political repression in Karelia, as author of the book Lists of Remembrance of Karelia, as the person who discovered a number of places of burial of victims of political repression, and as one of the first people to locate a major burial site of this kind, [what is now] the Sandormokh Memorial Cemetery, Continue reading
The chairman of the Karelian branch of Memorial, Yury Dmitriev, one of the discoverers of Sandarmokh and a founder of its memorial complex, was arrested at his flat on Friday, 13 December. His computer and mobile phone were confiscated and the same day the adoption agency took Dmitriev’s 11-year-old adopted daughter from school.
The day before, says his common-law wife, who is currently in hospital, they found signs that someone had been in their apartment. Memorial representative and member of the President’s council on Human Rights, Sergei Krivenko, believes that these events might be a provocation aimed at discrediting the Memorial Society.
(Translation in progress – full Russian text follows.)