The trial of human rights activist Oyub Titiyev, who heads the Chechen branch of Russian rights group Memorial, kicked off on 18 July in Chechnya’s Shali District Court. Titiyev, who has been in custody since January, is charged with possession of large quantities of cannabis; Titiyev and his defence team reject the accusation, claiming the drugs were planted on him and that the case is politically motivated.
Witnesses and relatives say that a 30-year-old resident of Ingushetia was beaten and forced to sign a document before being taken into custody. After several days of looking for him, local authorities told the family that the man had been killed. [Read more…]
Last week, Grozny’s Staropromyslovsky District Court rejected an appeal from Oyub Titiyev’s lawyer, Pyotr Zaikin, to have his case transferred to another region of the North Caucasus. Titiyev, the head of Russian rights group Memorial’s Chechen branch, is the latest government critic to be prosecuted on drug charges in the republic. Zaikin says the drugs were planted by police and insists Titiyev will not receive a fair trial in Chechnya, he also accused the Russian Investigative Committee of being unwilling to get to the truth of the matter.
The head of Russian rights group Memorial’s Daghestani office, Sirazhudin Datsiyev, was attacked on Wednesday morning outside his house as he left for work. Datsyiev remains in hospital in Makhachkala. [Read more…]
The European Parliament has passed a resolution calling for the immediate release of prominent Chechen human rights activist Oyub Titiyev, Rikard Jozwiak, Brussels reporter for RFE/RL, reported. The 8 February resolution labels drug charges levelled against Titiyev ‘trumped-up’.
A car belonging to Russian rights group Memorial was set on fire in Daghestan on 22 January by unknown people. This was followed by threatening calls and text messages to staff the following day, ordering the group to cease activities or ‘next time we’ll set fire to the office with you inside’.
Russian rights group Memorial’s office in Nazran has been severely damaged in an arson attack. Early morning on 17 January, two people wearing masks entered the second floor of the building, which houses the group’s office, and set it ablaze.