Chechen Head Kadyrov's spokesperson calls US demand to release Memorial movement head “pressure on investigation”
Earlier, the US Department of State issued a statement in which it expressed concern about the detention of Titiev and called for his release from custody.
The demand of the US Department of State to release head of the Memorial Chechen branch, Oyub Titiev, is a blunt pressure on the investigation. This is stated on Thursday by press secretary of the Head of the Chechen Republic, Alvi Karimov.
"This is a crude pressure on the investigation," he said in a comment to the Interfax news agency.
As reported, earlier today it became known that the US State Department issued a statement in which it expressed concern about the detention of Titiev and called for his release from custody. “Given well-founded concerns about potential mistreatment of Mr. Titiev in custody, we urge Russian federal authorities to ensure that Mr. Titiev’s rights are protected in accordance with the Russian constitution and Russia’s human rights obligations. We call on Chechen authorities to immediately release Mr. Titiev and allow independent civil society to operate free from harassment and intimidation,” the State Department said.
Meanwhile, according to Karimov, "all noise about the fact that this [criminal case] is connected with Titiev's activities in Memorial is absolutely groundless." "As a human rights defender, he is almost unknown, there are many human rights defenders in Chechnya who openly expressed their opinions, which do not always correspond to the official one, but no one threatens them, and no one could threaten Memorial and its employees," the press secretary of the Head of Chechnya said.
He noted: "The State Department has never made a single statement, having understood objectively the situation. The main thing is to mention Chechnya, and everything else can go to hell."
Karimov assured that the Interior Ministry employees "are vitally interested in the most objective investigation of the case, the search for truth." "In Chechnya, no one is trying to blame innocent people for the possession or use of drugs, and I personally would be very happy if it turns out that Titiev is innocent," Karimov said.
Recall, Titiev was detained by law enforcers on January 9 near the capital of Chechnya - Grozny. The Interior Ministry reported that the car of the human rights activist was stopped "for conducting preventive measures." The police found 180 grams of marijuana in his vehicle. The driver was sent to a medical examination.
Chairman of HRC Memorial Alexander Cherkasov later reported that Titiev was charged with the Possession of Drugs on a large scale (Article 228 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). According to the Memorial head, Titiev's detention is related to his professional activities, "which caught the flack of the Chechen authorities."
Oleg Zaytsev had wide connections within the criminal world and law enforcement agencies. This is being related to an organized crime group headed by Ruslan Kilievich that had allegedly been patronized by a former Federal Security Service Directorate officer Oleg Natalchenko. The crime group had also been a core driver for almost disbanding the criminal investigation department of the police.