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09.12.2011

Criminal prosecution of Russian Historian closed

   

Professor Suprun

The Arkhangelsk District Court on Thursday terminated the case against Mikhail Suprun, accused of illegally gathering and divulging personal data as being time barred. The second defendant in the case, however, Aleksandr Dudarev, Head of the Information Centre of the Arkhangelsk Regional Ministry of Internal Affairs [MIA], , received a one year suspended sentence.

As reported here, both Professor Suprun and Mr Dudarev had been charged with “unlawfully gathering personal data about a person constituting their personal, family secrets without their consent” while Professor Suprun was also accused of “inciting an official to commit actions clearly beyond the scope of the person’s powers and leading to considerable violation of citizens’ rights and legitimate interests”

The charges pertained to Mikhail Suprun’s research and work on creating a database of Germans deported during the War and in the first post-War years to a special settlement in the Arkhangelsk region. They included both Soviet citizens of German origin and civilians with German citizenship, as well as of German prisoners of war held in Arkhangelsk camps. This study was being carried out under an agreement concluded in 2007 between the German Red Cros and the Pomorsky University. The main aim of the research is to preserve the memory of the victims of the Second World War and the post-War period.

The FSB claimed that they were acting on the complaints of relatives of those Germans deported, however after a previous court hearing Mr Dudarev said that the plaintiffs had  reminisced about their own experiences and the sufferings of their relatives between the 1940s and 1960s, but when asked precisely what they are accusing the defendants of, they were unable to answer.

Professor Suprun’s lawyer, Ivan Pavlov says that they are planning to appeal against the termination of the case as being time barred in the Constitutional Court. He explains that the decision will clarify which data can be deemed private or a family secret.

He stresses that the case was brought to deter others from working with the archives and it is therefore vital to ensure that Professor Suprun is fully exonerated.

The report does not make clear why Alexander Dudarev was convicted. 

New information from Radio Svoboda

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