Oub Titiev

Documentary Radio Liberty / YouTube

The UN special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, Michael Forst and his colleague David Kaye, focussing on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression urged the Russian authorities to release Ouba Titieva. He was the head of the Chechen branch of the human rights centre “memorial”. The statement of experts released on Thursday in Geneva, expressed deep concern over the arrest of human rights activist and questioned the validity of the charges against him in drug trafficking.

“We urge the authorities to drop all criminal charges against Mr. Titieva and to release him immediately”, – experts say. They Express “deep concern about his arrest” on charges that they consider to be “fabricated”, reports TASS. In the opinion of the special Rapporteur undertaken in relation to Titieva authorities actions, “apparently was motivated by his peaceful human rights activities and aimed at preventing his legitimate right to freedom of expression and freedom of Association”.

The statement alleges that “the trial of Titanim and the attack on “memorial” emphasize coordinated and intensifying campaign of intimidation aimed at the organization”. Special rapporteurs are reminded that scheduled for March 11 “recent hearings” in the case Titieva. They also inform that maintain contact with the Russian authorities on this case.

The head of the Chechen branch of the human rights centre “memorial” Ouba Titieva detained January 9, 2018. The police allegedly found in his car package with 180 grams of marijuana. Two days later, the Shali district court Titieva arrested, accused of possession of narcotics in the large size.

The human rights activist claims that drugs were planted on him. International organizations, including the Council of Europe, the Russian opposition politicians and public figures have repeatedly issued appeals for the release Titieva. In the “Memorial” believe that his arrest is related to the fact that the head of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, decided to get rid of the presence in the Republic human rights centre.

18 may it became known that from evidence in the case Titieva lost his personal belongings, the DVR and the equipment that monitored the route and the location of his car. In addition, the handle and lock of the car was damaged, the door can be opened without a key. Later it turned out that one of the witnesses who were present during the search of the car Titieva, during which he was allegedly found drugs, worked in the police.

In defense of human rights, the court made the elders of Chechnya, whose opinion in the Caucasus is traditionally considered to be indisputable. “From childhood he was fighting only for the truth and spoke only the truth, the whole life lived right. The charge brought against him is all a lie. He never smoked and didn’t drink it religiously sports guy. It may not be related to drugs, he had them even in the hands not kept,” said the witness Salam Dasaev.

Human rights activists believe that the final trial is a foregone conclusion. The court in the case of the head of the Grozny “Memorial” openly supports the prosecution, but the defense is counting on the release of Ojuba Titieva after the verdict. This was stated on 6 March the lawyers at a press conference in Moscow.

After the arrest Titieva and pressure on his colleagues in the office of Memorial in Chechnya was closed, also told the head of the program “Hot spots” Oleg Orlov. According to him, human rights work in Chechnya continues, but “other forms”.

According to the lawyer Ilya Novikov, the outcome of the court case Ouba Titieva actually a foregone conclusion, since the head of the Grozny “Memorial” is already declared guilty by the head of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, calling the activist a drug addict, reports “Echo of the Caucasus”.

This statement is based only on the testimony of a witness for the prosecution of Suliman Bashanova. He allegedly identified Titieva as a person Smoking marijuana.

Meanwhile, Bazhenov admitted that he used drugs. It was twice tried for illegal turnover of narcotic drugs, and both times appointed probation. This is not typical for the Chechen court. Human rights activists believe that basanov is an agent of the police.

About gross fraud in the case said the lawyer Marina Dubrovina. According to her, the only evidence proving the involvement Titieva seized the package with the drug, his hair stuck to the strip of tape that was attached to the package.

Oub Titiev in his testimony explained that this Scotch with his hair, was received on January 10, the day after the arrest. On the morning of 10 August in the building of the Kurchaloy police Department the head of a defender wrapped with tape, and then “cut from the back side and abruptly broke”. “So on the sticky tape Scotch was his hair. No other evidence – no fingerprints and anything else – the involvement Titieva to this package. We have declared the petition for carrying out of investigatory experiment, but we were denied, as in 99% of all other motions. Everything that happened with EUBAM Titanim, is a gross falsification”, – said Marina Dubrovina. Her words quoted by radio “Freedom”.

Case Titieva cannot be viewed outside the overall context of the situation with human rights in Chechnya, said a spokesman for Human Rights Watch Rachel Denber. “We see a decade of pressure on human rights defenders and journalists, arson, persecution of anyone who dares to criticize Kadyrov and government of Chechnya,” she said.

To arrest Ouba Titieva in Chechnya “was such the case with tossing drugs to the people who criticized the government,” said Denber.

According to her, the case Ouba Titieva made a great international impact. In his defense, spoke at the UN, the Council of Europe Commissioner for human rights. His case was discussed at a meeting of the President of France Emmanuel Makron with Vladimir Putin, was heard during the so-called Moscow mechanism of the OSCE.

On 14 February the European Parliament adopted a resolution which demanded the urgent release of Ojuba Titieva. The parliamentarians also called athletes and artists around the world to boycott public events in Chechnya, told the “Caucasian knot”.