MOSCOW, January 10 (RAPSI) – Russia’s Human Rights Commissioner Tatiana Moskalkova will examine the situation currently developing in the Chechen Republic, where the head of the regional office of the Memorial human rights organization, Oyub Titiyev, has been arrested after police allegedly found drugs in his car, press-service of the ombudsman told RAPSI on Wednesday.
According to the Republic’s Interior Ministry, on January 9 police officers stopped Titiyev’s car during a preventive control operation. As police officers searched the car, a package filled with a plant-based substance smelling of marihuana was found. The package was then sent for analysis while the head of the office was brought in for a medical examination.
The Chairman of Russian Presidential Council for Human Rights Mikhail Fedotov suggested that drugs might have been planted in the car. He believes that there are grounds for launching two criminal cases: over the discovery and over an alleged planting of drugs. “It should not be ruled out that drugs might have been planted because of Titiyev’s human rights activity,” Fedotov said. The official Chechen Republic’s human rights commissioner Nurdi Nukhazhiyev stated that police officers had not violated any laws.
The Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights Nils Muiznieks wrote on his Twitter account that “detention and prosecution of Oyub Titiev in Chechnya is very worrying signal” and called for provision of necessary safeguards in the proceedings for the defendant.