Oyub Titiev in a cell in the court room. Photo by the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent

20 March 2019, 09:28

Western diplomats criticize Russia for sentencing Oyub Titiev

The verdict passed to Oyub Titiev, the head of the Grozny office of the Human Rights Centre (HRC) "Memorial", has shown that Russian authorities are making use of police and courts for political persecutions, the Rapporteurs of the PACE (Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe) assert. By convicting rights defenders, authorities demonstrate their weakness, the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) of the Czech Republic has stated.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on March 18, the court sentenced Titiev to four years in colony after finding him guilty of drug possession. The trial of Titiev has revealed all the sins of the Russian justice, said Marie Struthers, Director of the Amnesty International (AI) for Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

Frank Schwabe, a PACE Rapporteur, has condemned the verdict in "the most resolute manner."

"The case of Mr Titiev is a part of a wider campaign against human rights defenders unleashed in Northern Caucasus,” said Rafael Conte, another PACE Rapporteur.

The European Service of External Relations has also linked the Titiev's verdict with his human rights work at the HRC "Memorial".

"This emphasizes the absence of basic human rights in Chechnya," said Bjorn Engesland, Secretary General of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee.

"In Chechnya, where there is no independent judiciary, there was little hope that the judge would try to establish the truth," said Inna Bukshtynovich, a program officer for Eurasian civil rights advocates, the website of the Civil Rights Defenders has quoted.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on March 19, 2019 at 11:59 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

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