Oyub Titiev. Photo: courtesy of HRC 'Memorial'

19 November 2018, 23:07

Oyub Titiev reports to court about his detention and threats from law enforcers

Oyub Titiev, the head of the Human Rights Centre (HRC) "Memorial" office in Grozny, has testified in court. He has described in detail the events of January 9, when he was detained on suspicion of drug possession. Oyub Titiev reported about his first detention by fighters from a rapid response team (known as GBR) and the second detention, staged "under the law" with participation of inspectors from the road-and-patrol service (known as DPS) and from the investigative team.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that Oyub Titiev, accused of marijuana possession, has been in custody since January 11. He pleads not guilty and claims that the drugs were planted on him.

The head of the HRC "Memorial" office in Grozny won the Václav Havel Prize. At the award ceremony held on October 8, a letter from Oyub Titiev was read out, in which he called the charges against him false and described the atmosphere of fear in Chechnya.

According to Oyub Titiev, on January 9, an armed GBR fighter in green uniform stopped his car on the way to the village of Mairtup, requested him to produce documents, and then asked him to leave the car and open the car trunk. Oyub Titiev obeyed to all the instructions voiced by the law enforcer and got out of the car. The GBR fighter began to inspect the Oyub Titiev's belongings and the content of the car trunk. At that moment, another law enforcer, dressed in the same uniform, joined the first GBR fighter, the HRC "Memorial" reports the story of Oyub Titiev on its Telegram channel.

Oyub Titiev heard how one of the law enforcers opened the front door of the car, but did not see what he was doing there. Then the law enforcer called Oyub Titiev and his colleague to approach the front door and took a package from under the seat, with a green substance inside it.

When asked by the law enforcer, what it was, Oyub Titiev replied: "You better know what it was, since you put it there." After that, the law enforcers took Oyub Titiev to a police station.

On the territory of the police station, other GBR fighters approached Oyub Titiev with questions about what was found in his car and "why he had drugs in his age." Oyub Titiev said that the drugs had been planted on him by the law enforcers and repeated the same argument in the office of Deni Djabrailov, the head for the criminal investigation department. After that, the law enforcers began to threaten Oyub Titiev with reprisal and institution of criminal proceedings against his son and other relatives under article on terrorism. They wanted to force the activist to admit his guilt in drug possession.

About an hour later, they got no confession from Oyub Titiev. When the rights defender noted that "they did everything in contradiction with the law in the case," one of the top-ranking law enforcers answered that "everything would be according to the law." Oyub Titiev was taken out of the office. The law enforcers returned him his passport, money, documents, and car keys, ordered him to get into his car and drive to the place of detention. A DPS inspector was already standing at the place. He saw the Oyub Titiev's car, demanded to stop, and requested him to produce his documents. Then two DPS inspectors examined the Oyub Titiev's car and "discovered" a package with marijuana in the same place where it had been found for the first time.

After that they called members of the investigative and operational team, and they arrived and did all the formalities during 1.5 hours. Oyub Titiev refused to sign the protocol. When the rights defender was taken to the ROVD (District Interior Division) for the second time and brought to the office of the head for the criminal investigation department, the law enforcer stated that "then everything had been done under the law."

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on November 19, 2018 at 06:00 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

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