The Norwegian Nobel Committee is appalled by the news that the Russian human-rights activist Oleg Petrovich Orlov has been sentenced to 2½ years in prison, allegedly for “repeatedly discrediting” the Russian armed forces. Mr Orlov, who is co-chairman of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning human rights group Memorial, has been a vocal critic of Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine. 

“The sentence against Mr. Orlov is politically motivated and provides another proof of the increasing disrespect for human rights and freedom of speech in today’s Russia, the Chair of the Norwegian Nobel Committee”, Mr. Jørgen Watne Frydnes, says in a brief statement. "The Putin regime has for many years tried to silence the leadership of Memorial and other important civil society organizations in Russia, and they are now using the war on Ukraine as a pretext to finish the job. It is important that they won’t succeed", he adds.  

In 2022, Memorial was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for its outstanding efforts in documenting war crimes, human rights abuses, and the abuse of power in the former Soviet Union as well as in post-Soviet Russia.