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Convicted historian Yury Dmitriev from Karelia was granted an international prize

Ivan Zhuravkov
Yury Dmitriev
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Yury Dmitriev, a researcher of Stalin's terror and the head of the Karelian Memorial, received the International Human Rights and the Rule of Law Prize. This was reported on the Memorial Human Rights Center’s website. This award was given to the historian in absentia, since he was sentenced to 13 years in prison in a case on sexual abuse against his adopted daughter in September.

The post states that the award, established by the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of France and Germany, has been granted since 2016 for contributions to the protection and promotion of human rights in a recipient’s country and at the international level.

This year, in addition to Yury Dmitriev, lawyers, human rights defenders, public figures, and activists from Lebanon, Egypt, South Sudan, Angola, China, Slovakia, and other countries have won it. Earlier, Oyub Titiev, the head of the Memorial Human Rights Center’s office in Grozny (Chechnya), was granted the same award in absentia (then he was tried for grand drug possession).

Yury Dmitriev is known for having researched mass-casualty burials in Karelia since the 1980s. In 1997, together with representatives of the St. Petersburg Memorial, he discovered one of the largest burial of victims of Stalin’s terror, where about 7 thousand people were executed by shooting in the 30s, — the forest massif of Sandarmokh.

For the first time, Dmitriev was detained and received into a pre-trial detention facility in December 2016, after he was reported to allegedly have pornographic pictures of his adopted daughter on his computer. The court acquitted him in April 2018. In June, Dmitriev was detained again and prosecuted for allegedly abusing his underage daughter. Experts did not find any sexual deviations in Dmitriev. In July 2020, he was sentenced to 3.5 years of high security for sexual violence against his adopted daughter. At the same time, he was acquitted of charges on production of pornography, lewd act, and possession of weapons. But in September, the sentence was toughened to 13 years of imprisonment in a maximum security penal colony, the acquittal under two other articles being overturned. In November, the court began revising the criminal case again. The next meeting is scheduled for December 17.


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