Halya Coynash: Russian historian of the Terror jailed after Soviet-style denunciation faces new charges

posted 15 Mar 2017, 13:03 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 15 Mar 2017, 13:05 ]
15 March 2017

By Halya Coynash

Three months after Yury Dmitriev, a Russian historian and head of the Karelia branch of the Memorial Society, was arrested and remanded in custody on bizarre charges, the investigators have come up with two new indictments. There is no evidence to substantiate the original charge, and total mystery over the new accusations. The fact that the prosecutor was originally supposed to have acted on the basis of an anonymous denunciation brings a chilling flashback to the worst Soviet days, as does a great deal about this case. A recent slanderous attack on state-controlled television has only compounded the suspicion that the prosecution is part of a mounted attack on Memorial and its work exposing perpetrators of the Terror. Everything about Dmitriev’s arrest and the charges elicit concern and it is no surprise that the President’s Human Rights Council announced on Feb 12 that they were taking the case, which appears fabricated, under their personal supervision. [Read more on Human Rights in Ukraine]