6 June 2023
Source: Memorial Society [Facebook]
Lana Estemirova, the daughter of Natalya Estemirova, a human rights activist and associate of the Memorial Human Rights Centre who was murdered in 2009, on the criminal prosecution of Oleg Orlov:
“On 8 June, the first hearing will take place in the case of Oleg Petrovich Orlov, a well-known human rights activist, a member of the Memorial Human Rights Centre, and my friend. He is charged with “repeated discreditation of the army,” for which he could go to prison for three years. Three years for honest, fearless words about the bloody war Russia has unleashed on Ukraine, about how Russia has slid into fascism and human rights activists have once again become dissidents.
“I have known Oleg Petrovich since I was six, and every time I saw him it was like a mini holiday. He taught me to fly paper airplanes and always brought me gifts of little books. Meanwhile, the purpose of his trips to the Caucasus was always serious and often dangerous. He survived both threats and abductions. Together with his colleagues, Oleg Petrovich documented the Russian army’s crimes in Chechnya and gathered evidence of human rights violations.
“After the murder of my mama, Natalya Estemirova, Oleg Petrovich did not keep silent or get scared but openly pointed to the responsibility of the head of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov. Back then, in 2009, he paid for his honour with a court case for slander. Human Rights Activist v. Murderer. Herein lies the entirety of Oleg Petrovich. He places the principles of humanism above all else and calls things by their names. He has behind him decades of antiwar activism: from pasting up leaflets against the Afghan war to solitary pickets against the invasion of Ukraine. Throughout his entire adult life, he has fought injustice and has never turned away from a stranger’s misfortune. So now I’m asking you not to turn away from his trial. It’s hard for me to believe it, but Oleg Petrovich is 70. Every year spent behind bars could prove fatal for his health. I’m asking you to sign the petition in support of Oleg Petrovich and, if you can, support him at Moscow’s Golovinsky Court at 15:00 on 8 June. We need your support and attention very much.”
The first hearing in Oleg Orlov’s case will take place on 8 June at 15:00. Come to the Golovinsky District Court to support Oleg Petrovich. Petition in support of Oleg Orlov: https://chng.it/wdsV9bsrcj
Translated by Marian Schwartz