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Russia sentences Memorial leader Oleg Orlov to 2.5 years in prison for criticizing the invasion of Ukraine

O Justice Russian today sentenced veteran activist Oleg Orlov, leader of Memorial, a human rights organization that received the peace Nobel in 2022.

As soon as the decision was announced, hooded police officers handcuffed Orlov70 years old, and placed him in a cell in the same room as Golovinski Court in Moscow.

READ TOO: The fall of Avdiivka marks two years of war in Ukraine

The activist was condemned for an article in which he called the current political regime “totalitarian and fascist“, something that, given what has happened in recent months, including the recent death in prison of the opponent Alexey Navalnydid not exaggerate, in his words, “not a drop”.

Last October 11 Orlovwho also demonstrated in Red Square against the war in Ukrainewas fined 150 thousand rubles ($1,500) for the same case, but the Prosecutor’s office appealed the decision, accusing Orlov in “harboring ideological and political hatred” against RussiaAfter what Moscow Urban Court ordered a repeat trial.

The judge then took into account as mitigating factors, among other things, the accused’s age and his brilliant career as a activist in the last 30 years.

Furthermore, he was also accused on this occasion of animosity against traditional moral principles and also against the patriotic values that he professes Kremlin.

They accuse us of discredit, without explaining what it is and how it differs from the legitimate criticism. They accuse us of intentionally spreading false information without bothering to prove it is false.“, he said Orlov the day before, when he spoke his last words.

Orlov “He felt identified with the character in the novel.”The process” in Francisco Kafkasince he also doesn’t understand why and what they accuse him of.

“The State in our country once again controls not only social, political and economic life, but also aspires to total control of culture, scientific thought and invades private life. becomes absolute”, he said.

More than a dozen Western diplomats, including representatives of state Joined and the European Union in the Russian capital, attended the hearing on Tuesday, according to Memorial on Telegram.

During the process, Orlov He refused to acknowledge his guilt and renounced the presence of witnesses in his defense, arguing that this could pose a risk to them, since he was classified in early February as a foreign agent.

The decision coincided with the ninth anniversary of the assassination near Kremlin from the opposition leader and former Russian Deputy Prime Minister, Boris Nemtsov.

In March, the courts opened criminal proceedings against Orlov for the article titled “They wanted fascism, they already have it” published in the French press and published in November 2022 on Facebook.

The bloody war declared by the regime put on in Ukraine does not just mean the mass murder of people, but the destruction of infrastructurethe economy and cultural assets of that extraordinary country,” the article said.

In December 2021, Russian courts liquidated the International Memorial and the Human Rights Memorial Center to create a “false image of USSR as a terrorist stateafter which the said organization received a year later in Oslo he peace Nobel.

Source: Elcomercio

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