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Memorial co-chair to serve 2.5 years in prison for anti-war article

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Co-chair of the human rights organization Memorial, Oleg Orlov, has been sentenced to 2.5 years in prison for an anti-war article, according to a report by Memorial on February 27.

The court in Moscow found Oleg Orlov guilty of discrediting the army and handed him a 2.5-year prison sentence. The human rights defender faced persecution for publishing an article titled 'They Wanted Nazism — They Got It' in a French magazine and on social media. Orlov refused to defend himself in court to avoid putting witnesses at risk due to his designation as a foreign agent.

Orlov’s allies, as well as ambassadors from 17 countries and the European Union, attended the hearings to express their support.


In autumn 2023, Oleg Orlov was fined 150,000 rubles in the same case. However, the prosecutor’s office appealed the verdict and requested imprisonment as a punitive measure. Before the verdict, the prosecutor asked for Orlov’s psychiatric examination due to his 'heightened sense of justice and total absence of self-preservation instinct.'

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