The Political Committee of the Russian United
Democratic Party YABLOKO expresses its indignation in view
of political reprisals against human rights activist and Chair
of the Memorial human rights centre Oleg Orlov.
OrlovТs statement on political responsibility of [the head
of Chechnya] Ramzan Kadyrov for the murder of [human rights
activist] Natalya Estemirova can not form grounds for any
presecution, either in the civil or moreover in the criminal
Such accusations against top officials or the subject of
the federation constitute normal practices based on the concept
of political accountability of higher officials, and not someone
else. At numerous public events accusations have been pronounced
against Boris Yeltsin, Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev,
but this has not led to initiation of legal proceedings and
criminal law suits.
Even in our conditions of extreme restrictions on freedom
of speech and general judicial arbitrariness and in other
situations, it never occurred to anyone to make allegations
of political responsibility a subject of a law suit.
Ramzan KadyrovТs case is a special case even for our generally
low political culture.
Probably feeling his guilt and the guilt of those around
him, he and his representatives initiated the case which only
further damages their reputation: the prosecution of absolutely
peaceful and honest man Oleg Orlov who merely said in his
own words what Ramzan Kadyrov had said before.
No one doubts the innocence of Oleg Orlov. This trial is
only possible because the country's political leadership has
put the stakes unconditionally on Ramzan Kadyrov, and this
fact penetrates the entire legal process. However, the issue
of human rights and protection of an individual, either in
Chechnya or anywhere else, is of secondary importance to the
Russian leadership Ц they absolutely do not understand the
meaning and importance of this topic for a real state building
(in contrast to Oleg Orlov).
This is observed in the re-appointment on Ramzan Kadyrov
as head of the Chechen Republic by Dmitry Medvedev without
any public critical comments.
[RussiaТs] policies on Chechnya have to be changed sooner
or later. The carte blanche to Ramzan Kadyrov and the people
around him is not infinite. We urge the Russian leadership
to realize this and change the policies to a more responsible
And we repeat: persecution of Oleg Orlov is inadmissible.
in the Northern Caucasus