Bjorn Engesland, Secretary General of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee. Photo: http://www.nhc.no/no/om_nhc/sekretariat/Bj%C3%B8rn+Engesland.9UFRjQ3K.ips

14 January 2018, 08:43

Norwegians agree to support Oyub Titiev

On 11 January, the human rights organizations the Norwegian Helsinki Committee, the Human Rights Watch, the Amnesty International, the International Federation of Human Rights and the World Organization Against Torture issued a joint statement demanding from Russian authorities to release the rights defender Oyub Titiev.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on January 11, the court ruled to place Oyub Titiev into custody for two months on charges of possessing marijuana. Titiev claims that the drug was planted on him by a law enforcer. He told his advocate that law enforcers had forced him into self-incrimination and threatened to bring criminal cases against his relatives on promoting terrorism.

"The very fact that Chechen authorities are so crudely fabricating a drug case against Titiev is unlikely to cause any surprise, given how fiercely and consistently they persecute people who dare claiming human rights abuses in Chechnya. The point is how the federal centre will act, and are the Moscow's international partners ready on their part to do everything possible to achieve a proper response from it?" the statement quotes Bjorn Engesland, the Secretary General of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee.

On January 11, Audun Halvorsen, Deputy Foreign Minister of Norway, responded to Norwegian rights defenders.

"We are deeply concerned about the arrest of Oyub Titiev. Rights defenders are in great danger in Chechnya, which, unfortunately, has been repeatedly confirmed by numerous tragic events," Mr Halvorsen said in his letter to rights defenders. A copy of the letter is at the disposal of the "Caucasian Knot".

Audun Halvorsen has stressed that the Norwegian government plans to discuss the situation with the prosecution of Titiev during its bilateral talks with Russian counterparts. "We will also work to ensure that Norway raise the issue of Titiev's prosecution in the OSCE and/or the Council of Europe," he has added.

Full text of the article is available on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’.

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