Oyub Titiev. Photo courtesy of the Human Rights Centre "Memorial"

24 October 2018, 09:19

Oyub Titiev

He defends human rights, investigated a mass execution in Chechnya, and made efforts to make socially important problems public.


In 2001, Oyub Titiev joined the Human Rights Centre (HRC) "Memorial", but he stayed in the shadow for many years, and his name did not appear in the media. According to his colleagues and friends, Oyub Titiev is deprived of vanity and ambition. However, first of all, he stayed "invisible" in order not to inflict damage to anyone who decided to entrust him with the information extremely painful for the authorities.

After the murder of Natalia Estemirova, the activities of the "Memorial" in Chechnya were suspended. "Oyub was one of those Chechen colleagues who believed it was necessary to resume the activities of the office," notes Oleg Orlov. And he continues: "They were convincing us: 'We cannot leave the republic. We must continue our activities in memory of Natasha.'"

Throughout 2017, Oyub Titiev was engaged in investigation into a mass execution committed in January 2017 in the territory of the regiment for the patrol-and-post service (known as PPS) named after Akhmat Kadyrov. At night on January 26, 2017, in Chechnya, at least 27 people were executed, who were detained in connection with an attack on policemen in Grozny in December 2016. That was reported by the newspaper "Novaya Gazeta", but the Investigating Committee of the Russian Federation (ICRF) did not conduct an investigation.

In late 2017, Ramzan Kadyrov was included in the "Magnitsky List" "for involvement in extrajudicial killings, torture, and human rights violations." On January 9, 2018, Oyub Titiev was arrested in Chechnya.

Elena Milashina, a reporter of the "Novaya Gazeta", associated the arrest of Oyub Titiev with his activities in 2017: "The criminal case against Oyub Titiev is revenge for the investigation into the mass execution in Grozny ... He could do what all journalists and rights defenders who come to Chechnya today cannot do."

"As a member of the 'Memorial' – one of the most reputable and experienced human rights organizations in Russia Oyub Titiev has been making an invaluable contribution over many years to the defence of human rights, including by advocating accountability for human rights violations by Chechen officials," noted CE Commissioner for Human Rights Nils Muižnieks in his statement.


On August 24, 1957, Oyub Titiev was born in the village of Lebedinovka in Kyrgyzstan, where his family members found themselves as a result of a mass deportation of Chechen people in March 1944.

In 1976, he graduated from the Mozdok Mechanics and Technology College, and in 1990 from the Faculty of Economics of the Yaroslav Mudry Novgorod State University.

Oyub Titiev did his military service at the 31st separate disciplinary squadron.

When he returned to Kurchaloi, a native village of his family, Oyub Titiev, who has been involved in sports all his life (wrestling, weightlifting), had became a school physical education teacher and created a children's sports club in the village.

Since 2000, Oyub Titiev headed the office of the HRC "Memorial" in Gudermes.

Since 2009, he headed the HRC "Memorial" representative office in Grozny. He also works at the "Civic Assistance" Committee.

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