A Russian State Duma deputy has asked prosecutors to investigate the respected human rights organization Memorial because it published an online database containing information about agents of dictator Josef Stalin’s secret police.
Russian media reported on December 3 that Deputy Ivan Sukharev, the deputy chairman of the Duma’s Committee on Public Organizations and a member of the nationalist Liberal Democratic Party of Russia, asked prosecutors to determine if the publication “violated any number of statutes of the Criminal Code,” in particular the law against inciting social enmity.
Last month, Memorial published the database containing the names and other information about more than 40,000 agents of Stalin’s secret police, many of whom personally carried out executions and other crimes during the period of the Soviet Great Terror. The database was some 15 years in the making, the activists said.
On November 27, some descendants of the people named in the database appealed to President Vladimir Putin, asking him to shut it down.
In October, Russia’s Justice Ministry included Memorial on its list of organizations acting as “foreign agents.”