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New fears in Russia as researcher of Stalin purges arrested

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Russian historian Yuri Dmitriyev is escorted into a court room in the city of Petrozavodsk, northwestern Russia in Petrozavodsk, Russia, Thursday, June 28, 2018. Russian authorities this week brought fresh legal action against an acclaimed researcher and rights activist, accusing him of sexual misconduct toward his minor daughter, in what human rights groups dismiss as an attempt to shut down his work documenting Stalin’s massacres at a time when the government seeks to gloss over Soviet-era crimes.

MOSCOW (AP) — Fresh legal action against an acclaimed Russian researcher who documented Stalin’s massacres has shocked human rights groups, who see it as an attempt to shut down his work at a time when the government seeks to gloss over Soviet-era crimes.

Yuri Dmitriyev’s arrest Wednesday on accusations of sexual misconduct toward his underage daughter was the latest step in a lengthy legal case. Dmitriyev was acquitted this spring on child pornography charges based on the same evidence, but the acquittal was later overturned.

The new pressure on Dmitriyev comes as Russia is hosting the World Cup and trying to showcase its accomplishments.

Dmitriyev’s older daughter, Ekaterina Klodt, told The Associated Press on Friday she believes he is being persecuted for his research and activism.

“Somebody doesn’t like the work that he does,” Klodt said.

Leading writers, historians and other public figures have campaigned in his defense.

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