Oleg Orlov* at a court. Screenshot of the photo posted on the Telegram channel "RusNews" on February 21, 2024 https://t.me/rusnews/48983

22 February 2024, 21:06

Human rights defenders in Northern Caucasus call Oleg Orlov* “hope of Russia”

The court agreed to include in the case on discrediting the Russian Armed Forces instituted against Oleg Orlov*, the co-chair of the “Memorial” Centre for Defence of Human Rights, the character reference letters in which human rights defenders from Chechnya and Kabardino-Balkaria pointed out the importance of his activities to respect human rights in Northern Caucasus. Human rights defender Alexander Verkhovsky believes that a refusal of Oleg Orlov* to participate in the trial is unlikely to affect its outcome.

The “Caucasian Knot” has reported that on February 16, in Moscow, a court began re-examining the criminal case against Oleg Orlov*. At least several dozen people came to support the human rights defender. Oleg Orlov* refused to admit guilt and forbade bringing witnesses in his defence, since his status as a foreign agent increases the risks for those who support him in court. The human rights defender also refused to answer the judge’s questions. The court hearing was attended by diplomats from the embassies of several countries.

On October 11, 2023, the Golovinsky District Court sentenced Oleg Orlov* to a fine of 150,000 roubles, finding him guilty of discrediting the Russian Armed Forces. Motives of hatred and enmity were included in the charge.

The court granted most of the requests to include in the case the materials that the defence handed over during the investigation. Among them there is a character reference letters from human rights defender Oyub Titiev. “Oleg Orlov* is not an enemy of Russia, but he is its hope. He is an honoured hero of our time,” Oyub Titiev expressed his assessment.

In addition, the court read out a character reference letter for Oleg Orlov* from the Human Rights Centre of Kabardino-Balkaria signed by Valery Khatazhukov. “Oleg Orlov* paid special attention in his human rights activities to Northern Caucasus, where, on instructions from the federal centre, regimes were created that resulted in monstrous violations of human rights. Oleg Orlov* have done a lot to create a system of legal assistance,” the character reference letter states.

*Included by the Russian Ministry of Justice (MoJ) into the register of foreign agents.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on February 21, 2024 at 10:13 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Naim Suleimanov Source: СK correspondent

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