Oyub Titiev. Photo: press service of HRC "Memorial"

23 June 2018, 09:05

Kadyrov argues with State Department on Titiev's case

Today, the US State Department has demanded to liberate Oyub Titiev, the head of the Grozny office of the Human Rights Centre (HRC) "Memorial", calling the accusations against him groundless. The head of Chechnya has replied that the truthfulness of the charges should be evaluated by the court; besides, Kadyrov doubted Titiev's authority as a human rights defender.

Oyub Titiev has been under arrest on the charge of marijuana possession since January 11.He pleaded not guilty and stated that the drugs were planted on him by a law enforcer. On June 14, the EU Parliament adopted a resolution with a request to free Oyub Titiev from the charges.

"We call on Russia to release the authoritative human rights defender Oyub Titiev, who has been imprisoned in Chechnya since January on groundless drug-related charges," Heather Neuert, the spokesperson of US State Department, wrote in the Department's official Russian-language account on the Twitter.

The head of Chechnya reacted to this publication on the same day. "[Neuert] has involuntarily assumed the functions of the Russia's judiciary, arguing that Titiev is in prison on ungrounded accusations related to drugs," Ramzan Kadyrov has commented on Ms Neuert's statement in his page on the Twitter, noting his personal interest in an objective investigation of the case.

Kadyrov asked Neuert to justify her opinion of Titiev as an authoritative human rights defender. "She treats Titiev as an authoritative human rights defender; and I would be grateful to Ms Heather Neuert for information about the citizens whose rights Titiev had defended."

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on June 22, 2018 at 10:57 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

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