Oyub Titiev (on the left) and Ilya Novikov, an advocate, in the court room. Screenshot of the video by the "Caucasian Knot"

19 March 2019, 20:32

Chechen officials distance themselves from Oyub Titiev's sentence

Alvi Karimov, the press secretary to the leader of Chechnya, and Djambulat Umarov, Chechen Minister for National Policy, declared the Oyub Titiev's sentence mitigated in comparison with the prosecutors' request the evidence that the Chechen leaders had not interfered in the trial. The authorities have achieved their goal: they have forced independent human rights organizations out of the region, residents of Chechnya believe.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on March 18, the court found Oyub Titiev guilty of drug possession and sentenced him to four years of imprisonment.

Oyub Titiev is to serve his sentence not in a common-security penal colony, but in a settlement colony with milder conditions of detention.

The news broadcasted by the "Grozny" ChGTRK (Chechen State TV and Radio Company) reported that the court took into account the Oyub Titiev's age as a mitigating circumstance.

Oyub Titiev's sentence was condemned by the "Amnesty International" (AI). The European Union demanded to "immediately" release Oyub Titiev and associated the court's decision with the activities of the human rights defender.

Members of Chechen NGOs and residents of the republic said they expected that the court would find Oyub Titiev guilty.

"Of course, the powerful campaign in support of Oyub Titiev had a positive effect on the outcome of the case," noted the head of a local NGO.

"Several years ago, Ruslan Kutaev was imprisoned on the same charge of drug possession, but Oyub Titiev would be kept in a settlement colony. So, there is already some kind of progress," said Shakhran, another local resident.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on March 19, 2019 at 02:34 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Source: CK correspondents

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