Advocate Pyotr Zaikin and Oyub Titiev (right). Photo by Patimat Makhmudova for the Caucasian Knot

14 February 2019, 23:36

MEPs call for release of Oyub Titiev

In a resolution adopted today, the European Parliament has demanded urgent release of Oyub Titiev, the head of the Human Rights Centre (HRC) "Memorial" office in Grozny. MEPs have also called on international sports personalities and artists from all over the world to refrain from participating in public events in Chechnya.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that Oyub Titiev was arrested on January11, 2018 and was charged with drug possession. He claims that the drugs were planted to him by law enforcers.

According to the resolution published today on the European Parliament's website, Chechnya has experienced a dramatic deterioration in the human rights situation over the past several years.

The MPEs have demanded the immediate release of Oyub Titiev and noted that he is being prosecuted on fabricated evidence of the illegal acquisition and possession of drugs. The European Parliament has promised to closely monitor the trial in the case against the rights defender.

In their resolution, members of the European Parliament urge the authorities of Chechnya and Russia to "put an end to the harassment and persecution of their citizens and to end the climate of impunity where victims largely refrain from seeking justice as they fear retaliation."

MEPs call on international sports personalities and artists to refrain from participating in public events in Chechnya or events sponsored by the leadership of the Chechen Republic.

The European Parliament have also called on the Russian authorities to repeal "laws that severely restrict NGOs' ability to work independently and effectively" and mentioned the law on "foreign agents" adopted in 2012, according to which the HRC "Memorial" awarded the Sakharov Prize in 2009 had been designated as a "foreign agent."

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on February 14, 2019 at 05:20 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

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