Memory Scrubbing: Film Screening & Discussion
Sunday 1-2:30 pm
Shute Church EX13 7PT
The right to free speech in Russia is precarious. Independent media have been effectively shut down mostly recently Dozhd TV and Novaya Gazeta. There are very few civil society organisations protecting civil liberties. One of them is Memorial, Russia’s oldest human rights group. Founded in 1989, Memorial has established a collection of 60,000 case studies – with photos and artefacts – from the millions of political prisoners who disappeared into the Gulags, the system of Soviet labour camps operating from 1930 to the mid-1950s. Indeed, the custodial sentences that will probably be handed out to the 15,000-plus Russian detainees (so far) will most likely be served in Gulag-style ‘correctional colonies’ (ispravitel’nie kolonii) – the barracks-like accommodation blocks developed under Stalin. Memorial has also assisted individuals with bringing numerous challenges to the European Court of Human Rights. Memorial was liquidated earlier this year although individuals behind it continue their work. This screening of the film about Memorial will be followed by a discussion and Q&A with barrister Sam Knights QC who has lived and worked in Russia and assisted Memorial with its work as a consultant.