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:
“Eighty years on, the victims of the Stalinist terror have still not been found. Yury Dmitriev has spent thirty years of his life seaching for them. Now he himself is behind bars,” writes Steven Derix in the Dutch NRC Handelsblad (3 Friday), online edition.
It is immoral to support the hypocrisy of the Russian authorities
An appeal by former political prisoners
concerning today’s opening of a monument in Moscow
As former political prisoners and participants in the Democratic Movement in the Soviet Union, we consider the opening in Moscow of a monument to the “victims of political repression” to be untimely and hypocritical. A monument is a tribute to the past, yet acts of political repression in Russia not only continue – they are increasing.
In sponsoring the opening of the monument, the present Russian regime is pretending that acts of political repression are a thing of the distant past: the victims of such political repression, therefore, may be commemorated. We believe that today’s political prisoners in Russia are no less deserving of our help and attention than the respect and remembrance we owe to the victims of the Soviet regime.
Veteran dissident and bard
The Times Literary Supplement (London)
The Trial of Yury Dmitriev
Sir, — Daniel Beer’s review of two books about Stalin’s terror (21 July) rightly concludes with a case that has become, to the discomfort of the authorities, a cause célèbre in Putin’s Russia.
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
On 20 June, appeals in support of Yury Dmitriev were broadcast by writer Dmitry Bykov and musician Boris Grebenshchikov on the Echo Moskvy radio station. On its website the radio station also published a list of several hundred people who have signed a petition in support of the historian.