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Reports: Russian Court Rejects Gulag Historian's Appeal Of Prison Sentence


Yuri Dmitriyev, pictured in July 2020

Russian news agencies said a court has rejected an appeal by gulag historian Yuri Dmitriyev, who was sentenced to 13 years in prison after being found guilty of sexually abusing his daughter.

TASS and RIA Novosti reported that the St. Petersburg appeals court on February 16 dismissed the request by Dmitriyev, who has said the charges brought by prosecutors were based on fabricated evidence.

Dmitriyev, 65, was arrested on child-pornography charges in 2016 based on photographs of his foster daughter that authorities found on his computer.

He said the images were not pornographic and were made at the request of social workers concerned about the child’s physical development.

Last July, he was found guilty, and he was scheduled to be freed in November due to time served.

But a court in the northwestern Karelia region, where Dmitriyev lives, abruptly added a decade to his sentence and ordered him held in a high-security prison.

Dmitriyev's historical work has focused on exposing the victims of the 1937-38 Great Terror, in which nearly 700,000 people were executed.

After the Soviet collapse, he found a mass grave containing thousands of bodies of people held in the Soviet gulag network of slave labor camps.

Memorial, a rights group where Dmitriyev works, has said the accusations against him were groundless.

Based on reporting by TASS and RIA Novosti
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