Natasha Estemirova (left) and Tanya Lokshina (right). Photo by

26 November 2009, 22:00

Human rights defenders summoned to interrogation on Kadyrov-vs-Orlov case

Tatiana Lokshina, deputy director of the Moscow office of the Human Rights Watch, was summoned as a witness in the criminal case, initiated against Oleg Orlov, head of the Human Rights Centre (HRC) "Memorial", on the charge of slandering President of Chechnya Ramzan Kadyrov. A number of other human rights activists also received summons.

"I'm summoned on Friday (November 27, - comment of the "Caucasian Knot") as a witness to the inspector on this criminal case. I'm going to tell that in his statements Oleg Orlov spoke in general about political responsibility of the President of the Chechen Republic. He didn't accuse him of direct involvement in Natalia Estemirova's murder," said Ms Lokshina.

She believes that the criminal case against Orlov is distracting the society and authorities from the major task - to ensure the due investigation into Estemirova's murder and punish those guilty, the "Interfax" reports.

The "Echo Moskvy" Radio reports that apart from Lokshina, Alexander Cherkasov, a board member of the HRC "Memorial", was also summoned to the Moscow GUVD for interrogation on the criminal case against Oleg Orlov. The website "Pravo.Ru" adds that the head of the HRC "Memorial" and his advocate Genry Reznik asked to invite some more witnesses for interrogation, in particular, Svetlana Gannushkina, head of the Committee "Civil Assistance".

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