Statement of the Committee Against Torture on Oyub Titiyev’s apprehension

Событие | Пресс центр

10 January 2018

It is obvious to us that yesterday’s apprehension of head of Grozny branch of Human Rights Center Memorial Oyub Titiyev is a continuing undisguised form of pressure put by the Chechen authorities on the human rights defenders work in this region.  

(Oyub Titiyev, photo: ok.ru)

Cynical in their essence charges of possession of drugs, brought against Oyub, only convince us in this thought – for everyone who knows Titiyev, his civil stand and way of life, it is impossible to imagine him to get involved in a drug-related crime. 

We are convinced that in the course of Oyub Titiyev’s apprehension the police officers violated the law.  For example, his friends and family were not notified of the fact of his apprehension and of his whereabouts within the three-hours period, established by the law.  At the place where Titiyev was actually kept – police department for the Kurchaloyevsky District of the Chechen Republic – the police officers kept denying that Oyub was with them and did not let lawyer visit him, thus preventing the detained from his constitutional right to defense. Based on the fact that the procedure of apprehension is clearly regulated by the legislation of the Russian Federation, one may claim that this apprehension and subsequent detention of Oyub Titiyev by the authorities’ representatives does not correspond to legal norms, that is why we amount it to abduction.  

We remember how in 2014 a case against well-known public figure Ruslan Kutayev was forged in similar pattern. Despite numerous evidence collected by human rights defenders and lawyers, proving that the case was clumsily faked, the campaign against Kutayev ended with a verdict of conviction and a jail time. 

Now this is a threat that Oyub Titiyev faces, too.  

We intend to insist on thorough investigation of illegal apprehension of Oyub Titiyev and to fight for the honor of our colleague. We call for our colleagues with Russian and international human rights organizations, media representatives as well as all non-indifferent citizens to take part in the campaign to defend Oyub Titiyev.