Russian Rights Group Adds To List Of Political Prisoners

MOSCOW -- The Moscow-based Memorial Human Rights Center issued an updated list of political prisoners in Russia on October 30, the Day of Commemoration of the Victims of Political Repressions.

According to the updated list, there are currently 362 political prisoners in Russia, of whom 297 were persecuted for their religious views and 65 for their political activities.

That is up from 305 people listed as political prisoners last year, with 252 individuals persecuted for their religious views and 53 for political activities.

Memorial's new list was published as special, mainly on-line, events were held across Russia on October 29-30 to commemorate the millions of victims of political repression in the Soviet Union.

October 30 has been marked in Russia as the Day of Commemoration of the Victims of Political Repressions since 2007.

The date was chosen to honor gulag inmates in the regions of Mordovia and Perm who started a mass hunger strike on that day in 1974 to protest political persecutions in the Soviet Union.

There is no data on the exact number of Soviet citizens who became victims of Josef Stalin's Great Purge.

According to Memorial, at least 12 million innocent people were jailed or executed in the Soviet Union between the 1930s and 1950s.

The Gulag History Museum says the number of such people was around 20 million, of whom more than 1,000,000 were executed.