Friday, October 16, 2009

No freedom of speech in Russia

Back in the bad old days of the Soviet Union, Russians could not talk about the crimes of their government, and if they did, they got arrested.

Sadly, nothing has changed:

A Russian historian investigating the fate of Germans imprisoned in the Soviet Union during the second world war has been arrested, in the latest apparent clampdown on historical research into the Stalin era by the Russian authorities.

Mikhail Suprun was detained last month by officers from Russia's security services. They searched his apartment and carried off his entire personal archive. He has now been charged with violating privacy laws and, if convicted, faces up to four years in jail.

It seems the former KGB thugs who now run Russia want to establish an official version of history which whitewashes their crimes and cases Stalin as a hero, and are turning back to their own habits to achieve it. This isn't just a gross violation of freedom of speech - it is actively dangerous. Remember Orwell: "He who controls the present, controls the past. He who controls the past, controls the future".