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Stanislav Dmitrievsky Not Allowed to Work in Sunday School

Source: (info), 25/10/11 

Stanislav Dmitrievsky, a human rights defender in Nizhny Novgorod, has been forced to leave his job at one of Nizhny Novgorod’s parish schools where he taught Old Church Slavonic. This happened as a result of a campaign of intimidation against staff of the diocesan administration in Nizhny Novgorod and the headteacher and staff at the school.

A letter about the ‘danger’ the teacher presented to society was sent to the Diocesan Administration at the end of the summer this year, following which ‘preventive talks’ were held with teachers at the Sunday school. These talks were carried out either by FSB officers or by the Ministry of Internal Affairs’ Main Directorate for Combating Extremism. The teachers were required to tell about the content of Dmitrievsky’s lessons and were promised ‘big problems’ if he continued to work there.

As a result, Stanislav Dmitrievsky’s employment contract was not extended.

Stanislav Dmitrievsky himself links what happened to the over-zealousness of officers working “at the local level”, where they are operating in line with a bill that has not yet been passed which proposes a ban on those who have committed crimes against the ‘foundations of the constitutional system’ working with children, writes Novaya Gazeta in Nizhny Novgorod.

In 2005, Stanislav Dmitrievsky was given a two year suspended prison sentence and a four year probation period under Article 282 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (the incitement of ethnic hatred). We believe that this sentence is an example of the unlawful application of Article 282 of the Criminal Code aimed at the political persecution of civic activists criticising the actions of the Russian leadership in Chechnya.

‘The situation described by Dmitrievsky confirms our fears that victims of the unlawful application of anti-extremist legislation will face an even greater disfranchisement if a law, banning those convicted of crimes against the “foundations of the constitutional system” from working with children, is passed,’ the Sova Center points out.

Translation by Nicky Brown