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Head of Memorial human rights center accused of repeatedly discrediting army 

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A case of repeatedly discrediting the military has been opened against the head of the Memorial human rights center, Oleg Orlov. He has been released from the police station on a pledge not to leave the area. This was reported on March 21 by journalist Vasily Polonsky.

The criminal case against Oleg Orlov is based on the charge of repeatedly discrediting the army. Previously, Orlov was held administratively responsible for discrediting the military due to a picket criticizing Vladimir Putin. He was released from the Investigative Department in the Tverskoy district on a pledge not to leave the area. Orlov will also be interrogated in connection with the case of rehabilitating Nazism.

On the morning of March 21, law enforcement officers conducted searches of employees of the Moscow Memorial and their relatives. The action was conducted as part of a criminal case on the rehabilitation of Nazism. The case was initiated concerning three persons included on the victims of the political terror list but who were also convicted of collaborating with Nazies. Previously, searches were carried at the offices of human rights advocates in Perm.

The head of the Memorial educational center, Irina Sherbakova, believes that the authorities have started a "total purge of all dissenters." According to her, Memorial had warned the public about the consequences of not learning lessons from the past. The organization had reported on the state's crimes against human rights, which could have hindered the emerging ideology of chauvinism in Russia.

"In court [during the trial on the dissolution of International Memorial], the prosecutor directly stated that we were creating a negative image of the past that they absolutely did not need. I think that is precisely the issue," Sherbakova said in a conversation with the 7x7 media.

In 2022, the court liquidated the human rights organizations Memorial and International Memorial, which defended political prisoners and spoke out about human rights violations in Russia. The accusation alleged that the organization had concealed the "fact of performing the functions of a foreign agent." The organization had been declared a foreign agent a year prior.

Memorial employees denied that there were any legal grounds for liquidation. Afterward, the court seized Memorial's office and transferred ownership to the city of Moscow.

In 2022, Memorial was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.



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