“The triumph of evil”

Sever Real report by Anna Yarovaya and Yelena Vladykina

<p class="has-drop-cap" value="<amp-fit-text layout="fixed-height" min-font-size="6" max-font-size="72" height="80">The Supreme Court of Karelia has annulled the verdict passed earlier on Yury DMITRIEV by the Petrozavodsk City Court and in place of three years and six months has sentenced him to 13 years imprisonment.The Supreme Court of Karelia has annulled the verdict passed earlier on Yury DMITRIEV by the Petrozavodsk City Court and in place of three years and six months has sentenced him to 13 years imprisonment.

“This is the triumph of evil,” wrote journalist Victoria Ivleva. “13 years in a strict-regime colony is a death sentence.”

(Photo Anton Vaganov, Reuters)

“The Supreme Court of Karelia couldn’t care less what the Petrozavodsk City Court decided, it seems to me,” commented journalist Natalya Dyomina. “That’s surprising. The city court summoned experts while the Supreme Court somehow managed in 2-3 days to examine every aspect of this case, to reach its own understanding and increase the sentence from 3 ½ to 13 years. I don’t understand what happened during those three days,” said Dyomina, who travelled to Petrozavodsk to hear the verdict. “What new facts did they uncover?”

Continue reading

Three years, 6 months

On Wednesday, 22 July 2020, in a damp and windy Petrozavodsk, Victor Anufriev briefly addressed a large crowd of journalists and cameramen and women outside the City Court. According to BELSAT journalist Marina Makarova he indicated that his client Yury DMITRIEV had been found guilty and sentenced to three years six months’ imprisonment.

Taking into account the length of time DMITRIEV has already spent in detention centre No 1 in Petrozavodsk this means that he will be released on 12 November. Anufriev later specified that the sentence referred only to the charge of sexual abuse. (See 22 July report by Halya Coynash of the Kharkov Human Rights Group.)

At the end of the trial, earlier this month, the prosecution demanded 15 years’ imprisonment for Yury DMITRIEV in a strict regime penal colony.

Yury DMITRIEV is led into court (31 October 2019)

In an interview with the BBC, Petersburg attorney Mikhail Utkin called the sentence “unprecedented”: the minimum term specified in Article 132 is 12 years’ imprisonment.

Verdict expected in February 2020

YURY DMITRIEV’s lawyer expects a verdict in his second trial at the end of February 2020. The prosecution and defence are currently giving their final statements.

The present trial began in October 2018 and has proceeded even more slowly than the first. Less is known about what has been going on behind closed doors at the second trial, also held in camera. One strategy pursued by Victor Anufriev, the defence attorney, has stressed his client’s high reputation among academics, rights activists and other professionals, for example, Anatoly Razumov of the National Library in St Petersburg. They have testified in his defence. In November 2019 a petition in English (and Italian) was circulated among academics overseas and the resulting list of signatories was presented as evidence in court.

Continue reading

Dmitriev receives Moscow Helsinki Group award

On 12 May 2018, YURY DMITRIEV was among the recipients of the yearly awards made by the Moscow Helsinki Group. Like other laureates, he wore a black teeshirt demanding “Freedom for Oyub Titiyev!” the detained head of Memorial in Chechnya.

Dmitriev in Titiyev teeshirt after MHG award

After the award ceremony (photo, Maxim Lyalin)

(The photograph shows Dmitriev with fellow laureate Victoria Gromova
from Vladimir, Central Russia, in the courtyard behind Teatr.doc)

Continue reading