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Russia's Supreme Court Rejects Gulag Historian's Appeal Of Prison Sentence

Russian historian Yury Dmitriyev (file photo)
Russian historian Yury Dmitriyev (file photo)

Russia's Supreme Court has rejected the appeal of gulag historian Yury Dmitriyev, who was sentenced to 13 years in prison after being found guilty of sexually abusing his foster daughter. The decision was announced on the court's website.

"Refusal to transfer the case for consideration in the session of the court of cassation," said the case card on the court's website.

The Supreme Court's decision comes after a St. Petersburg appeals court also rejected the request by Dmitriyev, who has said the charges brought by prosecutors were based on fabricated evidence.

Dmitriyev, 65, who is also the head of the Karelian branch of the Memorial rights group, was arrested on charges related to child pornography 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.

In July last year, 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 Great Terror victims.

Memorial has said the accusations against Dmitriyev were groundless.