Gorbachev Condemns Stalin on Rights

Associated Press

President Mikhail S. Gorbachev on Monday issued a sweeping decree restoring the rights of all victims of Stalinist repression and noting that thousands of innocent people still bear a "stain of injustice."

The decree represented Gorbachev's strongest condemnation of Josef Stalin's forced farm collectivization, begun in the late 1920s, under which millions of peasants died of starvation or were shot or sent to labor camps.

Gorbachev declared the repressions during that period to have been "unlawful and contradictory to the main civilian and economic rights of human beings."

He also condemned as unlawful the repression of "all citizens on political, social, ethnic, religious and other motives in the 1920s through the 1950s."

The decree did not address what kind of compensation, if any, such victims should receive.

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