Case against Orlov discontinued

On January 20, the criminal proceeding for libel against Oleg Orlov, Chairman of our Russian partner the Human Rights Centre Memorial, was discontinued. This happened at the same time as President Medvedev implemented a law that decriminalised libel.

“We are happy that our colleague is finally free from charges. This should have happened a long time ago. We also welcome the fact that libel has been decriminalised in Russia, which prevents similar proceedings against human rights defenders in the future”, said Joanna Kurosz, Programme Director at Civil Rights Defenders.

If the decision is not appealed in Moscow city court within 10 days, the criminal proceeding against Oleg Orlov will be dropped.

Oleg Orlov says he is glad that the case was investigated and that he managed to bring up the issues of the continual human rights violations and persecution of human rights activists in Chechnya:

“No one has expected the verdict ‘not guilty’ to be delivered by the court of the first instance, but due to the fairness of judge Morozova the sentence was delivered. Everything we did in the court, both me and my colleagues, we did also in memory of our friend Natasha Estemirova.”

The ground for the criminal case against Orlov was his statement after the death of Natalia Estemirova, that Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov and his regime were behind Estemirova’s murder. In the statement after her death, Orlov wrote that Memorial had been aware that their latest investigations into new abductions, unlawful executions and public killings in a Chechen village had provoked the anger of high level Chechen officials.

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Categories: News.
Tags: Memorial and Oleg Orlov.
Regions: The North Caucasus.