20 May 2016
IFLA-FAIFE statement on the continuing detention of the Director of the Library of Ukrainian Literature
In November 2015 IFLA-FAIFE published a statement expressing concern over the targeting of the Library of Ukrainian Literature in Moscow. The Director, Natalya Sharina had been arrested and charged on suspicion of inciting hatred or animosity towards a social group by allegedly holding banned books in the Library. Natalya was subsequently arrested, and then placed under house arrest.
Since then Natalya has been charged with gross embezzlement and she remains under house arrest.
IFLA believes that libraries and librarians have a key role in supporting human rights, including freedom of access to information and freedom of expression, and an attack on libraries or librarians is an attack on democracy and culture. It regards the treatment of the Library of Ukrainian Literature, and its staff – and in particular Natalya Sharina - as completely disproportionate and unnecessary.
Donna Scheeder, President of IFLA, has now written to the Chairman of the Investigation Committee of the Russian Federation, and the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation calling for the release of Natalya from house arrest, and for the cessation of all legal action.
IFLA-FAIFE will continue to monitor developments in Russia and is happy to offer its support to Natalya Sharina and her colleagues at the Library of Ukrainian Literature.