Russia: prison for human rights activist Orlov

Oleg Orlov, co-founder of the human rights organisation Memorial, which was officially dissolved in 2021, has been sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison for "discrediting the armed forces". The 70-year-old had written an article in which he harshly criticised the war against Ukraine. Instead of defending himself, Orlov read Kafka's "The Trial" during the court hearing. Memorial was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2022.

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Arkady Dubnov (RU) /

A steadfast patriot and human rights activist

In a Facebook post, journalist Arkady Dubnov commends Orlov for his decision to go to prison rather than into exile:

“In October last year he was fined 150,000 roubles [1,500 euros], but the public prosecutor's office demanded a retrial of the case. ... There is sufficient reason to believe that this harsher sentence, typical of current judicial practice, is also punishment for his refusal to leave Russia after the fine was imposed. Having known Oleg for many years, I am sure that this is the conscious decision of a principled human rights activist and true-hearted Russian patriot.”

Die Welt (DE) /

Europe must take in dissidents

Die Welt lays out what Europe can do:

“Europeans are well advised to be as generous in taking in Russian exiles as they have been with Ukrainian refugees - and not just out of magnanimity. The war with Russia is not only about power politics: it's about ideology. In this battle, Russian intellectuals are important voices for freedom, and they have an impact, even if it is not immediately tangible.”