European Commissioner asks Russia to release Chechen Memorial human rights activist

European Commissioner asks Russia to release Chechen Memorial human rights activist
Oyub Titiev

Human rights activists argue that drugs could be planted.

Commissioner for Human Rights Nils Muižnieks issued a statement urging the Russian side to release head of the Chechen Memorial human rights center Oyub Titiev, who had previously been detained for transporting drugs.

"I have learned with great concern that Oyub Titiev, a prominent human rights defender and head of the Human Rights Centre Memorial in Chechnya, was apprehended and detained by the Chechen authorities yesterday. As a member of Memorial – one of the most reputable and experienced human rights organisations in Russia - Oyub Titiev has been making an invaluable contribution over many years to the defence of human rights," Muižnieks wrote.

Commissioner for Human Rights also stated that the charges brought against Titiev are "dubious" and the criminal prosecution should cease.

In addition, head of the HRC Mikhail Fedotov told Interfax that an appeal was sent to the leadership of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation to check the detention. The head of the HRC believes that the ICR should conduct a check in connection with possible drug planting to Oyub Titiev.

Let's remind that on the eve head of the Chechen Memorial human rights center Oyub Titiev was detained on suspicion of transporting narcotic drugs. According to the press service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Chechnya, 180 grams of marijuana were found in his car. After detention, the human rights activist was sent for medical examination. He is charged with Article 228 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. Titiev himself claims that he has nothing to do with drugs.

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