SBU: 5 Hour interrogation of historian Ruslan Zabily
According to the Liberation Movement Research Centre, on 16 February the SBU [Security Service] summoned historian and Director of the National Memorial Museum of Victims of the Occupation Regimes “Tyurma na Lonskoho” in Lviv, Ruslan Zabily for questioning.
The report states that Zabily was questioned for 5 hours and points out that the computer and hard disks removed many months ago have still not been returned.
“This was the first time since the events of September 2010 when the SBU unlawfully detained the historian, carried out unauthorized searches in the National Memorial Museum “Tyurma na Lonskoho”, unwarrantedly confiscated the researchers’ computers and initiated a criminal investigation”.
According to the Centre, the “State secrets” which the SBU was interested in from Zabily’s computer concerned KGB training material and information about the activities of the Soviet security services in the Baltic Republics. “Zabily downloaded the KGB documents from the European website http://www.kgbdocuments.eu/, as he informed the Ukrainian Security Service officer yesterday”.
Zabily says that the SBU are still taking an active interest in various aspects of his research and the work of the Museum. The investigator asked about Zabily’s contacts with other historians, wanting even to be given dates of when he first met them and places of meeting.
He says that he went to the questioning although he had to pay for his own journey from Lviv in the hope of getting his computer and academic works back, but that this had not happened.
The Liberation Movement Research Centre reports that following the outrageous pressure from the SBU and attempts by the Minister of Education Dmytro Tabachnyk to censor history, the number of visitors to the Museum from all over Ukraine has increased. It states that the National Memorial Museum “Tyurma na Lonskoho”, will still be holding its exhibition on the fight of the Soviet regime against dissidents.
“History in Ukraine will not be secret however much some may want this – the law prohibits the concealment of historical documents, especially those which contain information about human rights violations”, 36-year-old Ruslan Zabily stresses. “It is my task as a historian to ensure that future generations have the right to historical truth, and it is immaterial whether this truth is positive or negative. I will therefore no stop my work regardless of all interrogations and confiscations”.
The National Memorial Museum “Tyurma na Lonskoho”, has still not been transferred to the Ukrainian Institute for National Remembrance, despite President Yanukovych’s instruction and the Museum has also not received the State funding for this year promised by high-ranking officials.
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