Credit: Dmitry Borko/Memorial HRC

HRC40: Chechnya must acquit Mr Oyub Titiev of the fabricated criminal charges

On the 13th of March, during the 40th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, the Right Livelihood Award Foundation called on Chechnya to acquit Mr Oyub Titiev of the clearly fabricated criminal charges under which he is now detained.

Since the 9th of January, 2018, Oyub Titiev has been arbitrarily detained by the Chechnyan Government. Law enforcement officials have charged him with a drug-related offence, which, it is widely agreed, have been fabricated in retaliation for his human rights work.

Mr Titiev’s ongoing trial has been corrupted by falsified evidence and serious violations of due process and fair trial. However, the Courts have repeatedly denied Titiev’s defences’ requests for investigations into evidence tampering.

In a series of reprisals since Titiev’s arrest, Memorial members in other Northern Caucasus Republics have been subject to harassment and intimidation. The head of the Chechen Republic, Ramzan Kadyrov, has said openly last year that “human rights activists have no permission to enter this territory”.

Oyub Titiev has been recognised as a prisoner of conscience and a political prisoner by dozens of national and international human rights organizations. On two occasions, the European Parliament has called for Titiev’s immediate release, as has the Special Rapporteurs on the situation of human rights defenders and freedom of opinion and expression.

Mr Titiev’s verdict will be delivered on the 18th of March. He is looking at four years of incarceration for a crime he hasn’t committed. We urge the international community to remain seized of this matter and support Mr Titiev and Memorial by calling for his acquittal.

Memorial was given the Right Livelihood Award in 2004 “…for showing, in traumatic times, the importance of understanding the historical roots of human rights abuse, to secure respect for them in the future.”

Right Livelihood Award Laureates stand with Memorial in these trying times and previously called for the immediate release of Oyub Titiev during the Right Livelihood Award Laureates’ Conference in Santa Cruz.

Read the full statement