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On political reprisals against human rights activist Oleg Orlov

Statement by YABLOKOТs Political Committee
April 18, 2011

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 suit.

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 approach.

And we repeat: persecution of Oleg Orlov is inadmissible.

 

See also:

Human Rights

Situation in the Northern Caucasus

 

 

 

Statement by YABLOKOТs Political Committee
April 18, 2011

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