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Russia has nine lakh victims of political repression: Memorial
Moscow | October 29, 2006 6:39:27 PM IST
 
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Russia has about nine lakh victims of political repression, human rights group 'Memorial' said today.

''Among them are those who suffered political repression and also members of their families, and most of them are elderly people whose ranks are thinning,'' the Memorial's, Russia's prominent human rights group, Executive Director Yelena Zhemkova told Interfax news agency.

She made the statement ahead of 'Day of Soviet Political Prisoners' tomorrow, which is observed in memory of the victims of political repression in the country, especially under President Josef Stalin.

Describing the poor socio-economic conditions of the victims, Ms Zhemkova said authorities had not been 'attentive' enough to the victims of political reprisals.

''The recent shift from social benefits to cash payments had an impact on the law on the rehabilitation of victims of political repression, passed 15 years ago, causing the victims' living standards to fall,'' she said, adding the matters related to social benefits for the victims of political reprisals were relegated to regional authoritieis.

''Of course, those residing here and St Petersburg are better off than in poorer regions. Therefore, ex-prisoners of the same concentration camp, who live in different regions, are entitled to different cash benefits,'' Ms Zhemkova noted.

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