Rachel Denber: 'In a country where not a soul was held to account for millions of senseless, state-sponsored killings, acts of torture, and other crimes, preserving history and historical memory is paramount'

posted 7 Oct 2016, 02:59 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 7 Oct 2016, 03:02 ]
'This week Russia’s Justice Ministry branded International Memorial, the country’s preeminent independent group dedicated to preserving the history of Soviet repression and rehabilitating its victims, a “foreign agent”. [...] In just a few weeks Memorial will hold its annual, public reading of names of all people shot by firing squads in Moscow during the Great Terror. It’s not the first memory project to be targeted: In 2015 the government also listed Perm 36, a museum memorial to gulag victims, as a “foreign agent,” and fined it 300,000 rubles (approximately US$4,800); it closed in 2016. In a country where not a soul was held to account for millions of senseless, state-sponsored killings, acts of torture, and other crimes, preserving history and historical memory is paramount. Now the government wants to equate that exercise with perfidy.'

- Rachel Denber, Deputy Director, Europe and Central Asia Division

Photo: Human Rights Watch

Source:
Rachel Denber: 'History Under Attack in Today’s Russia: International Memorial Group Latest to be Branded "Foreign Agent",’ Human Rights Watch, 5 October 2016
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