Oleg Orlov, co-chairman of the Memorial Human Rights Center, was banned from entering Belarus. This was reported in the telegram channel of the organization.
On the morning of March 3, he was supposed to fly from Moscow to Minsk to attend the trial of the Nobel Peace Prize winner, chairman of the Viasna human rights center Ales Byalyatsky, his deputy Valentin Stefanovich, coordinator of the Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections campaign Vladimir Labkovich.
A representative of Aeroflot told Orlov that he had been banned from entering the country by the decision of the Belarusian authorities. They were allegedly informed about this at the time of registration.
“It is desirable to commit crimes without witnesses,” Orlov said. “Lukashenko’s regime is preparing to commit a crime today – to pass a cruel, unfair conviction on my fellow human rights activists and friends from the Viasna Center. For what? Exclusively for their human rights work.”
On January 5, Oleg Orlov and journalist Ekaterina Yanshyna attended the first hearing on the Viasna case. After the end of the meeting, Yanshina was detained, accused of petty hooliganism and arrested for 15 days.
After the expiration of the term of administrative arrest, on January 20, Yanshina was to be released. However, Ekaterina Gorbunova, who arrived to meet the human rights activist at the Center for the Isolation of Offenders (TsIP), did not wait for the woman.
In response to a request from a lawyer, the TsIP replied that Yanshyna had already been released. Later it turned out that the human rights activist was deported to Russia. Yanshina herself said that she was sent by plane to Moscow, and all her personal belongings were left at Akrestsina.
In 2021, the Supreme Court of Russia decided to liquidate the International Memorial, which was included in the register of “foreign agents”, and the Moscow City Court made the same decision regarding the Memorial human rights center. In the summer of 2022, the creation of a new human rights society “Memorial” was announced without the formation of a legal entity.
The US and the EU condemned the liquidation of the “International Memorial” in Russia. The head of the European Union’s foreign service, Josep Borrell, expressed regret over the decision to liquidate Memorial, which “plays an important role in preserving the memory of political repressions and violations of human rights.”
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