Published: 14 Mar 2017 | By Olga Grygorovska
Orlov and others v Russia
Case No. 5632/10
Judgment date: 14 March 2017
Oleg Orlov, the chairman of Memorial Human Rights Centre, was abducted in Ingushetia in 2007 along with three REN-TV journalists. They were all in Nazran (Ingushetia) for their work. Mr Orlov was monitoring the human rights situation in Ingushetia and the REN-TV journalists came to cover the protests against alleged abuses by state security forces. On 23 November 2007 armed men in black balaclavas and uniforms burst into the applicants’ hotel rooms, took their personal belongings, including documents and television equipment. They forced them into a minibus outside, took them to a deserted place and beat them. Their abductors threatened to shoot them dead. However, the abductors were unable to find silencers for their guns, so ordered the applicants to stay on the ground until they had left, threatening to kill them if they ever returned to Ingushetia, and drove away. Fearing the abductors’ return, the applicants ran through the snow in the opposite direction without shoes or warm clothes for an hour until they reached Nesterovskaya village, where they sought help from residents. The applicants were left with numerous injuries.
The next day, after medical examination of the applicants, the Ingushetia Investigative Committee initiated an investigation into violation of privacy, obstruction of lawful professional activity of journalists and robbery. In subsequent years, the investigation of the criminal case was repeatedly suspended and resumed, ultimately yielding no results. The applicants were represented by EHRAC and Memorial HRC.