Oyub Titiev and Marina Dubrovina, an advocate. Photo by the "Caucasian Knot"

19 March 2019, 16:44

EU urges to release Oyub Titiev

The sentencing of Oyub Titiev is directly connected to his human rights work, and the head of the Human Rights Centre (HRC) "Memorial" office in Grozny is to be released immediately, the European Union states.

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 in a penal colony. A brother of Oyub Titiev called the sentence tough.

"We believe that the sentencing of Oyub Titiev is directly connected to his human rights work for the HRC 'Memorial', an organization that has been the subject of ongoing intimidation and harassment in Northern Caucasus and beyond," states the EU on its website.

The document notes that "his sentencing continues a trend of arrests, attacks and discrediting of human rights defenders and journalists who work in that region of the Russian Federation."

"Mr Titiev's predecessor as the head of the HRC 'Memorial' office in Chechnya, Ms Natalia Estemirova, was killed in 2009 and, almost ten years later, not a single person has yet been brought to justice for this crime," declares the EU in its statement.

According to Dunja Mijatovic, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, the conviction of Oyub Titiev "is but the latest example of the hostile and dangerous environment in which human rights defenders operate in Chechnya."

Earlier, advocate Pyotr Zaikin has noted that the sentence will allow Oyub Titiev to request conditional early relief (CER) already in two months.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on March 19, 2019 at 04:20 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

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