Russian attempts to discredit Yury DMITRIEV are proving increasingly futile, writes Halya Coynash. On 10 December the renowned historian of the Soviet Terror and head of the Karelia branch of the Memorial Society was named as one of the 15 laureates of the prestigious Franco-German Prize for Human Rights for 2020.
“Every year since 2016, to mark Human Rights Day* [10 December], Germany and France have jointly presented the Franco-German Prize for Human Rights and the Rule of Law. Whether they be a human rights defender, a journalist or a lawyer: this award recognises the efforts of all those who work tirelessly every day to advance the causes of human rights and the rule of law,” wrote the website of the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs a few days back.Continue reading
To the Chairman of the Supreme Court of the Karelian Republic Anatoly Vladimirovich Nakvas
On 23 March 2020, Yury DMITRIEV, who is being held in a detention facility in Petrozavodsk, was sentenced to remain under arrest for three more months. This means that the peak of the growing coronavirus epidemic will find him in a prison cell.
Yury Dmitriev is 64 years old. He has spent the last three years of his life behind bars, although no one has ever proven him guilty. Quite the opposite: in April of 2018, the court issued a non-guilty verdict on the main charges against him. But new charges, a new investigation, and a new court case have now been underway for almost two years. Yury Alekseevich’s health has already been severely impacted: he felt ill all of last fall and into the winter, and this February he had a bad cold which has left him very weak.Continue reading
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.
Andrea Gullotta, University of Glasgow
17 November 2019
In July 2017 Deliya Meylanova contacted her Member of Parliament, Catherine West, about the trial of Yury Dmitirev. In turn Catherine West (Labour) wrote to SIR ALAN DUNCAN, a Conservative MP at the Foreign Office. On 13 September, Duncan sent his fellow MP a reply: