16/06/2011 / Memorial chairman cleared of charges

Memorial chairman cleared of charges

Human Rights, 16/06/2011

Memorial (RLA 2004) chairman and human rights campaigner Oleg P. Orlov was cleared of defamation charges on June 14. Observers saw the charge filed by Chechen leader Ramzan A. Kadyrov as part of an effort to silence criticism.

Orlov had accused Kadyrov of being responsible for the murder of his Memorial colleague, Natalya K. Estemirova. Estemirova, who was an open critic of Kadyrov, had been kidnapped and shot to death in Chechnya in July 2009.

In response, Kadyrov filed defamation charges and mocked the accusations:
“‘My hands are very white and clean,’ Mr. Kadyrov said in video testimony at Mr. Orlov’s trial. ‘I had a manicure the day before yesterday.'”

The New York Times reported about the case here.