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Prisoners at work in the gulag during the 1930s
The Russian human rights center Memorial has launched an online "museum" on the history of the Soviet labor and prison camps known as the gulag, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

Memorial workers have spent six years going through Russian and international archives for photographs and documents that explain the history of the gulag and what life in the camps was like.

The website currently consists of digitized documents from more than 100 museums.

Project worker Tatyana Pritikina warned that as small museums lose their funding and disappear, the "collective memory of history also disappears."

She said it is impossible to be indifferent to history when looking at the online exhibition. www.gulagmuseum.org

"In the exhibition you see everything -- from the death certificate of a two-month-old baby who died in prison to an aluminum spoon used during a church service in one of the labor camps," Pritikina said.

All entries in the museum are annotated with facts and dates. The virtual museum also lists the locations of mass executions and mass graves.
Emin Milli's parents, Pasha Abdullayev and Natella Abduallyeva, in Baku in February
Azerbaijani officials have said they will allow a jailed blogger out of prison to attend his father's funeral, RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service reports.

The Justice Ministry's penitentiary service told RFE/RL that Emin Milli would be released from prison for three days to attend the funeral of his father, Pasha Abdullayev, who died on June 28.

Milli and Adnan Hajizada were detained after a scuffle at a Baku restaurant in July 2009. They were found guilty in November of hooliganism and inflicting minor bodily harm and sentenced to 2 1/2 and two years in prison, respectively.

Human rights groups say the charges against the two are politically motivated in retaliation for their satirical comments about government policy.

A Baku appeals court upheld their conviction in March despite numerous international calls for clemency.

Abdullayev, 75, had been ill for some time. The funeral will take place in Neftchala, in southeastern Azerbaijan.

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"Watchdog" is a blog with a singular mission -- to monitor the latest developments concerning human rights, civil society, and press freedom. We'll pay particular attention to reports concerning countries in RFE/RL's broadcast region.

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