Memorial: Yuri Dmitriev is innocent and should be freed
The second trial is coming to an end of Yuri Dmitriev, historian and head of the Karelian Memorial Society, our friend and colleague.
Yuri Dmitriev restored from oblivion the names of many thousands of victims of state political terror in our country. He dedicated more than thirty years of his life to studying the history of the GULAG in Karelia. Dmitriev made a huge contribution to the discovery of the mass graves of victims of Stalin’s Terror at Sandarmokh and Krasny Bor. There are now annual remembrance ceremonies in these places which are attended by very many people from other countries, as well as Russia.
It was this internationally recognized work of Dmitriev’s which brought the troubles upon him.
Now, when in our country political repression is once again becoming an everyday thing, when the truth about the past does not fit into the state concept of history, it is to be expected that the authorities will react with hostilty to activities aimed at preserving memory about state political terrori in the past.
It was in this context that the ‘Dmitriev case’ arose. Those who initiated it, wanted not only to stop the historian and public figure’s work, but to discredit him.
We would state that there can be no doubt as to Yuri Dmitriev’s innocence, nor that the charges are falsified.
It is no accident that the first trial of Dmitrev ended in his acquittal. The falsifiers, however, could not accept their failure. In the face of the obvious, ‘failing to notice’ the widespread campaign of protest in Russia and in many other countries, they want reprisals against a dissident figure.
It will be a disgrace to our country if he is convicted.
We demand the release of political prisoner Yuri Dmitriev.
The Board of the International Memorial Society