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Generals, leave the victims in peace!


The International Human Rights Society “Memorial” has called on Russia’s Minister for Emergencies Sergei Shoigu to prohibit a competition on the Sekirnaya Hill on the Solovky Islands where the punishment cells of the NKVD labour camp stood, a place of remembrance.

The letter reads:

“We have learned that the Central Department of the Ministry for Emergencies in the Arkhangelsk region is planning to hold regional competitions on Sekirnaya Hill on the Solovky Islands.

For the entire world the Sekirnaya Hill has long been a tragic symbol of the Gulag. It is inextricably linked with remembrance of the victims of the communist terror.”

“The point is not even that the competition has been scheduled for the beginning of August, just when Remembrance Days are traditionally marked on Solovky for the victims of political repression and thousands come to pay homage from different countries.

It is incredible that having come out with this initiative, the Ministter for Emergencies is quite consciously planning to hold the competition, as he puts it in his appeal to the Church authorities “on Sacred land drenched from the blood of New Martyrs”.

Memorial points out that Russia is large enough to hold such events without disturbing places which are sacred to all citizens. It calls on the Minister to carry out explanatory work among Ministry staff so that no official could ever come up with such an idea again.  

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