Back to top

Oleg Orlov is a human rights defender and council member of Human Rights Center “Memorial” (HRC “Memorial”). The human rights defender is also the head of the HRC "Memorial" "Hot Spots" programme, established in 1990, that works in zones of mass conflict that may escalate into armed conflict, as well as in post-conflict situations, researching the observance of human rights and international humanitarian law. In 2009, he was awarded the Sakharov Prize in the nomination “For Freedom of Thought” and in 2012, the award of the Moscow Helsinki Group in the nomination “For historical contribution into the protection of human rights and human rights movement.


The environment for the work of human rights defenders (HRDs) in the Russian Federation is difficult, especially for those who defend and promote the rights of LGBTI people, ethnic and religious minorities, refugees, as well as activists of the North Caucasus and the unlawfully annexed Crimean Peninsula. HRDs are often subjected to acts of harassment, surveillance, physical attacks, threat, raids and searches on their offices and homes, slander and smear campaigns, judicial harassment, arbitrary detention, and ill-treatment, as well as violations of the rights to freedom of expression, association, and assembly. There have also been cases where HRDs have been murdered as a result of their work.