From December 1991 to the end of 2004, the Rehabilitation Division operated in the Supreme Court under the law “On rehabilitation of persons subject to illegal retaliation”. Its task was to review criminal cases and prepare materials for rehabilitating those convicted by judgments of military tribunals or courts during the period of Soviet occupation.
The Rehabilitation Division studied the archive materials of criminal cases and drew more than 30 000 conclusions regarding persons who were subject to repression, and issued rehabilitation certificates to about 12 250 persons. Rehabilitation was declined to 2545 persons.
Almost since the very start, the Rehabilitation Division was run by Biruta Puke, who for 14 years listened to tragic life stories, searching archive documents, requesting references from archives of Ministries of the Interior of different regions of Russia, most often – Krasnoyarsk and Magadan, as well as of the Komi ASSR and the Republic of Khazakhstan.
The Division of Rehabilitation issued also various certificates to those who had been subject to repression and their relatives – regarding seizure of property, places of imprisonment and deportation, participation in the national resistance movement, statement of the fact of death.
Pursuant to the law “On determining the status of a person having been subject to political repression regarding victims of the communist and Nazi regimes”, the state conducts historical research into the fate of these persons. Documents prepared by the Supreme Court Rehabilitation Division helped to understand the fate of people during an important period in Latvia’s history. The Rehabilitation Division cooperated with the Museums of War and History in organizing commemorative events, publications and exhibitions.
In the museum of Supreme Court one may see a suitcase in which cases of persons illegally subjected to retaliation were taken from the State archive of Latvia to the Division of Rehabilitation of the Supreme Court.
The criminal cases retained in the archives help to solve the fate of the persons who were subject to retaliation, to follow the events and testimonies. A life carefully bound in cardboard – accusations, minutes of interrogation, search warrants, judgment