Oyub Titiev. Photo by Patimat Makhmudova for the Caucasian Knot

18 January 2019, 19:40

US Department of State calls on Chechen authorities to release Oyub Titiev

The US Department of State expressed concern about human rights violations in Chechnya and called on Russia to respond to reports of renewed attacks on members of the LGBT community in the republic and to release Oyub Titiev, the head of the Human Rights Centre (HRC) "Memorial" office in Grozny.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on January 11, the newspaper "Novaya Gazeta" reported on a next wave of persecution of gays in Chechnya. According to the "Russian LGBT Network", starting from late December 2018, in Chechnya, about 40 people were detained for their supposed or actual sexual orientation, and two persons were killed.

"We are deeply disturbed by credible reports out of Chechnya about renewed attacks against individuals perceived to be members of the LGBTI community. We call on Russia to live up to its international obligations and commitments and its own Constitution, and launch an immediate investigation into these human rights abuses," Robert Palladino, State Department Deputy Spokesperson, wrote in Twitter on January 17.

Besides, the US Department of State called on Russia to release Oyub Titiev, the head of the Human Rights Centre (HRC) "Memorial" office in Grozny. "We also urge the Russian Federation to ensure that the rights of all human rights defenders are fully respected in Chechnya, and those illegally detained, including Oyub Titiev, be immediately released," Robert Palladino emphasizes in his statement.

On January 11, Oyub Titiev, the head of the Human Rights Centre (HRC) "Memorial" office in Grozny,  was arrested on the charge of drug possession, and his case is being considered by the court since July 19. He claims that the drugs were planted to him by law enforcers.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on January 18, 2019 at 02:09 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

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