Chechen Memorial activist Oyub Titiev nowhere to be found, lawyer says
The Human Rights Center posted on Telegram that another Titiev’s lawyer did not show up in court either.
Oyub Titiev, the head of the Chechen branch of Memorial, a Russian human rights center, was not brought to the Supreme Court session that was to consider the lawyers’ objection to his arrest, Titiev’s lawyer Petr Zaikin told Mediazona.
The Human Rights Center posted on Telegram that another Titiev’s lawyer did not show up in court either. Zaikin said that last time he had talked to him was the day before, when the missing lawyer was going to the Investigative Committee. He has not been returning calls since then and Zaikin says he has no idea where the other lawyer might be.
Due to the fact that Titiev was not present at the session, the Supreme Court postponed it until 17:00, and Zaikin headed to the Kurchaloyevsky Internal Affairs Office, hoping to find his client there. He was told that Titiev was not there, and that an investigative procedure was scheduled for 16:00, of which Zaikin had not been notified. The lawyer called the investigator, who said he had canceled the investigative procedure, and did not know where Titiev was.
The human rights activist was detained in Chechnya on 9 January. The police found a plastic bag with marijuana in his car. Two days later, Shali city court detained Titiev for two months on charges of Drug Possession (part 2 of Art. 228 of the Criminal Code). Titiev denies any wrongdoing and insists that the police had planted the drugs on him during the search.
Razman Kadyrov, the republic head, said the human rights activist was "a drug addict with hashish" and warned that human rights organizations would never be able to survive in Chechnya because they are people without a nation, ancestry or religion. After Kadyrov's statement, Memorial stated it wanted the Titiev case to be tried on a federal level, since the defendant could not hope for a fair trial in the republic.