Advocate Petr Zaikin (left) and Oyub Titiev in the court, March 19, 2018. Photo: press service of Human Rights Centre 'Memorial'

19 March 2018, 19:43

Rights defenders treat extension of Titiev's arrest as unjustified

The Prosecutor's Office has failed to prove the need to further keep Oyub Titiev, the head of the Grozny representative office of the Human Rights Centre (HRC) "Memorial", in custody; however, the court's judgement to reject his release was predictable, the human rights activists present at the today's court session have stated.

Oyub Titiev, the head of the Grozny office of the HRC "Memorial", is under arrest since January 11 on charges of possessing marijuana. He stated that the drug was planted on him by a law enforcer, but investigators refused to initiate a criminal case on his application. The Human Rights Centre (HRC) "Memorial" recognized Titiev to be a political prisoner.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that today the Supreme Court of Chechnya has denied the complaint against the extension of Oyub Titiev's arrest.

Svetlana Gannushkina, the head of the human rights organization named "Civil Assistance", who was present at the court session, has stated that the Prosecutor's Office failed to present any convincing arguments in favour of the extension of Titiev's arrest.

"The prosecutor said that 'he still believes that, based on the materials of the case and his evaluation of Titiev's personality, his freedom restraint measure should remain unchanged.' And that's all he can say, without giving any reasons and without refuting advocates' arguments. However, Oyub Titiev's personality is positive, which was established even by the court," Ms Gannushkina has stated.

The court session has passed calmly, but the judgement was expected, said Rachel Denber, the deputy director of the Human Rights Watch (HRW) for Europe and Central Asia, who also was present there.

"The prosecutor failed to explain why Titiev should be kept behind bars, but there was no doubt that he wouldn't be released. The atmosphere in the courtroom was calm but dramatic, as the human fate was decided there. Each wrong judgement is a great trauma and tragedy for Titiev," Ms Denber told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.

According to her version, it is obvious that the charge brought against Titiev is politically motivated.

Full text of the article is available on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’.

Author: Gor Aleksanyan; Source: CK correspondent

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