MOSCOW, January 11 (RAPSI) - Chairman of Russia’s Presidential Council for Human Rights Mikhail Fedotov has requested the Investigative Committee to conduct pre-investigation probe into the arrest of the head of Chechen Republic’s office of Memorial NGO, Oyub Titiyev, the statement published on the advisory body’s website reads.

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.

Fedotov supposed that drugs might have been planted in the car because of Titiyev’s human rights activity. He believes that there are grounds for launching two criminal cases: over the discovery and over an alleged planting of drugs.
Chechen Republic’s ombudsman Nurdi Nukhazhiyev stated earlier that police officers had not violated any laws.

Russia’s Human Rights Commissioner Tatiana Moskalkova is going to examine the situation, according to her press service.

The Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights Nils Muiznieks wrote on his Twitter account on Wednesday 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.