“Oleg Orlov's trial which begins tomorrow, is a travesty of justice that shows contempt for the most basic human rights”, said today the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović.
“Oleg Orlov - a prominent human rights defender and long-time partner of my office – faces a prison sentence on charges clearly aimed at punishing him for continuously protesting against Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine.”
Oleg Orlov is one of the leaders of Memorial - a Nobel Peace Prize co-laureate and the oldest and most respected human rights group, liquidated as part of a decade-long crackdown on the freedoms of expression, peaceful assembly and association in Russia that began with the adoption of the law on so-called “foreign agents” and has dramatically intensified in the context of the war against Ukraine.
“Oleg Orlov's courage and dedication to human rights are crucial to speaking truth to power. Like many other activists serving time in prison or otherwise sanctioned on similar grounds, he should never have been charged in the first place. I stand in solidarity with Oleg Orlov and many other human rights defenders, independent journalists and civil society activists in Russia who carry the torch of human rights in these challenging times. I reiterate my call on Council of Europe member states to support them, both inside their country and in exile. Their work in promoting peace, freedom and human rights is especially needed nowadays.”