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Letter from the Chair of the Board of Memorial to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation

Source: (info), 07/10/11 

· Human Rights Defenders 

To the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, 

Sergei Viktorovich Lavrov. 

Dear Minister, 

Yesterday evening Professor Hans-Henning Schröder, a prominent academic and expert on contemporary Russia, was refused entry into our country when he flew into Moscow from Germany. 

Professor Schröder is a regular participant in German-Russian academic and public debates, including the St. Petersburg Dialogue. All those who have heard his lectures and speeches and read his articles will understand that there can be no question of Mr Schröder representing a ‘threat to the security of Russia’. We do not know and cannot even imagine what stands behind this ban on his entry into the country – whether it be a chance error or someone’s malicious intention. Of one thing there can be no doubt: a serious researcher, a most respected individual, has been insulted. And in his person all foreign academics who work on the politics and economics of today’s Russia have been insulted. 

And this insult has been delivered not in the name of a specific official who has included the name of the respected professor in the ‘black list’. It has been delivered in the name of our country. This brings on us nothing but indignation and shame. 

Dear Minister, it is necessary to correct this situation immediately. It is necessary to find (we think this will not be difficult) and publicly punish those who are guilty. 

And, of course, it will be necessary to apologise to Hans-Henning Schröder. 

We very much ask you to take the necessary steps. 

Yours sincerely, 

Arseny Roginsky, 
Chair of the Board, International Memorial Society