Support freedom of research in the social sciences
"Last May 15, a decree issued by the President of the Russian Federation set up a “Commission for contrasting the attempts of hiNews forgery against Russian interests�?. Last June 23, V. A. Tiškov, “Vice Secretary Academician, Section of Historical and Philological Science of the Russian Academy of Sciences and Director of the ARS HiNews Section�?, signed a memorandum in pursuance of such decree. In the document, the “Section of Historical and Philological Science of the Russian Academy of Sciences executives�? are asked a “list of historical and cultural falsifications in the fields that correspond to the main research area of your department (mentioning the key sources, the individuals or organisations that produce and spread each falsification, the potential danger of that falsification for Russian interests; the preliminary proposals for the scientific confutation of the falsification)�?. We the undersigned consider this initiative directed to impose a “State truth�?, moreover trough an organism consisting of functionaries and only in a small percentage of true scholars of hiNews, as further evidence of the nationalist and authoritarian involution of Mr. Putin and Mr. Medvedev’s regime as well as an insult to the great historiographical and cultural Russian tradition which is the first victim of this policy. Being the historical research an international-ranging activity, we deem the Russian initiative to be a serious injury to the interests of the international scientific community as well as to those of the wider international community which is bereaved of the possibility of enjoying a free and conscious knowledge. Therefore we want to express our disapproval for those who promoted and enforced such decree as well as all our support to those who fight for the freedom of historical research in Russia. We are aware that the State meddling in the historical research activity is tempting other countries, even in the European Union, where “memory laws�? were introduced, or are thought to be introduced, in the criminal code to the detriment of the freedom of thought and opinion. We strongly believe that only an open and free public debate can refute historiographical theories, even the most despicable ones, and therefore oppose any initiative restricting such debate. Therefore we invite the European Parliament to declare itself in favour of freedom for historical research and against any State intrusion in Russia and in the European Union".