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Picket in support of Yury Dmitriev on his birthday

by Sergey Markelov
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On January 28, there was a massive picket in support of Yury Dmitriev, the researcher of the Stalinist repressions, in Petrozavodsk on his 63rd birthday. The historian is accused of committing sexual crimes. The «7x7» correspondent visited the event.

15 people joined the picket in a 20-degree [Celsius] frost: Petrozavodsk activists and Dmitriev's friends. They held posters: "Happy birthday, Yury Alekseevich Dmitriev", "I am against the persecution of Yury Dmitriev", "We will not allow Sandarmokh to repeat". Participants of the action were guarded by 12 police officers. The picket ended in an hour.

Dmitriev's friend historian Anatoly Razumov arrived to the rally from St. Petersburg:

"I'm glad I arrived. We have been working with Yury Alekseevich for a long time. Briefly, he is on trial for Sandarmokh [Sandarmokh tract — the place where Dmitriev discovered mass graves of the repressed in the 1990s]. For his work. This is a far-fetched case. The same conclusion was made by experts of the Human Rights Council under the President in February 2017 during a retreat. Life has confirmed this, Yura was acquitted by two examinations, was acquitted by the court. But people who open such cases do not know how to admit mistakes, so the case continues. I have no doubt that he will be released. He will be acquitted," he said.

Single pickets on the birthday of the Karelian historian were also held at the reception office of the President in Moscow. In 2018, the participants of the picket in Petrozavodsk sang "Happy Birthday to You" to historian Yury Dmitriev by telephone.


The head of the Karelian Memorial, Yury Dmitriev, was detained in December 2016 on suspicion of producing pornography using a photo of his adopted minor daughter. He was placed under arrest. Colleagues, friends and relatives of the researcher of the Stalinist repressions protested and created petitions in his support, arranged the presentation of his books.

«7x7» published a large report on the Dmitriev case. On June 1, 2017 the trial began. One of the key moments of the court was the interrogation of Professor, Doctor of Medical Sciences, President of the National Institute of Sexology, Lev Shcheglov. According to Shcheglov, the photographs are not pornographic. In July 2017, the human rights organization Memorial recognized the Karelian historian Yury Dmitriev as a political prisoner.

During the trial, a second examination of his daughter's photographs was scheduled. It also showed no signs of pornography. Psychiatric examination has shown that Dmitriev is not a pedophile.

On April 5, 2018, the court of Petrozavodsk acquitted the historian under the article on pornography, but the Supreme Court of Karelia cancelled this decision on June 14. Yury Dmitriev was again detained on June 27, he was arrested and is in jail now. The investigative committee opened a new criminal case under the article on sexual assault of a sexual nature against a minor. At the request of lawyer Victor Anufriev, both cases were merged into one.

The full story of Dmitriev’s case can be found in the «7x7» chronicle.

Sergey Markelov, author's photo, «7x7»


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