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Commissioner for Human Rights in Leningrad Region persuaded officials to give consent to excavation of military burial site

11 February 2016
Commissioner for Human Rights in Leningrad Region persuaded officials to give consent to excavation of military burial site

Commissioner for Human Rights in Leningrad Region Sergey Shabanov initiated an excavation of the cemetery of Koltushskoe Village, which during the Great Patriotic War (1941–1945) served as a mass burial site of the Red Army soldiers. The above was reported on 9 February by the administration of the village in reply to the official request of the regional Commissioner.

In January 2015, member of the public organisation ‘We Remember Names of Everyone’ Elena Komshilova requested Sergey Shabanov’s assistance. According to her, 750 soldiers and officers of the Red Army are buried in this cemetery but it has not been registered as a military burial ground yet. The social activists have been regularly requesting the village’s administration to register the burial ground, but have always been denied to.

In March 2015, the administration was ordered to organise an excavation of the cemetery’s territory and ascertain the place of the military burial site. However, the excavation was carried out not on the cemetery’s territory but nearby and it was written in the excavation report that "previously unknown military graves were not discovered".

Within the framework of the open-ended campaign being conducted by the Commissioner for Human Rights in Leningrad Region and called ‘The Fallen Also Have A Right. The Right to Be Remembered’, Sergey Shabanov immediately joined the actions to find a solution to the important problem.

Only after the insistent demand of the Commissioner, the rural administration reported that it had no objections to the excavation directly on the territory of the cemetery, and offered the activists to engage voluntary searching groups in the digging.

Adapted from the Press Service of the Commissioner for Human Rights in Leningrad Region

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