First Court Hearing in the “Historians’ Case”

posted 19 Oct 2011, 05:59 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 19 Oct 2011, 09:27 ]
Source: (info), 18/10/11

· Artistic freedom Human rights defenders Human rights education  Ministry of Internal Affairs

·  Public Prosecutor’s Office  Security services Arkhangelsk region St. Petersburg & Leningrand region

Tatyana Kosinova: A first hearing in the trial of Professor Mikhail Suprun and Colonel Aleksandr Dudarev has taken place in Arkhangelsk. On 17 October 2011 a court of first instance in Arkhangelsk began to hear the criminal case against the compilers of the Book of Memory about deported ethnic Germans in Arkhangelsk region, Mikhail Suprun and Aleksandr Dudarev. The case was initiated over two years ago – on 13 September 2009 – by Arkhangelsk investigator Vladimir Shevchenko, based on the results of an investigation by the FSB.

The German-Russian project to compile Books of Memory about ethnic German exiles in Arkhangelsk region became an object of interest to the security services. Historian Mikhail Suprun, leading the project, gathered a database on repressed ethnic Germans who were deported to the Arkhangelsk region in various years, from the period of collectivization until the mid-1950s. According to the official investigation, Mikhail Suprun thereby “violated the personal and family privacy” of those exiled and their descendants (Article 137, section 1 of the Criminal Code). Aleksandr Dudarev, former head of the archives of the Ministry of Internal Affairs for Arkhangelsk region, is being prosecuted for having allowed the researcher access to the documents on the history of political repression and thereby, according to the investigation, “exceeding his official powers” (Article 286, Section 1 of the Criminal Code). [Read more]