Solo picket in defence of Oyub Titiev at the building of the President's Administration in Moscow. Photo by the Caucasian Knot correspondent.

22 May 2018, 00:01

Titiev's colleagues treat picket at President's Administration as symbolic

The picket with a demand to release Oyub Titiev, held at the President's Administration in Moscow, is one of the steps of the consistent campaign in his defence and a solidarity sign, rights defenders believe.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that today human rights activists, namely, of the Human Rights Centre (HRC) "Memorial", Amnesty International (AI), Human Rights Watch (HRW) and the Youth Human Rights Movement, have held solo pickets in defence of Oyub Titiev at the building of the President's Administration in Moscow.

Oyub Titiev, head of the Grozny office of the Human Rights Centre (HRC) "Memorial", has been under arrest on charges of possessing marijuana since January 11. He insists that the drug had been planted on him by a law enforcer.

"The today's pickets are another step in the campaign to defend and support Oyub Titiev, and not an expression of rights defenders' despair," Oleg Orlov, a member of the board of the HRC "Memorial", told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.

"Our colleagues are actively helping us. Recently, a letter by 60 well-known and highly respected in Russia and abroad figures of sciences and arts was published. Besides, human rights organizations have appealed to the FIFA; earlier, the European Parliament passed its resolution. The pickets are just another milestone in our struggle for his liberation," Mr Orlov has added.

On the contrary, Alexander Artemyev, the head of the Russian AI's office, treats the pickets as an act of despair, noting that it is impossible to hope for a fair judgement without drawing public attention to the case.

Tatiana Lokshina, Programme Director at the HRW's Moscow office, like Oleg Orlov, refused to consider the picket an act of despair. "No, first of all, it's an expression of our solidarity with Oyub. This is a meaningful event, as the action is held at the President's Administration; since only President Putin can solve the problem," Ms Lokshina told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.

Oyub Titiev was supported by Leyla Yunus, an Azerbaijani rights defender: her video message was received by the "Caucasian Knot" as a feedback. Mrs Yunus has noted that the practice of criminal prosecution of rights defenders dates back to USSR times and is now being actively used in the Caucasus, namely, in Chechnya and Azerbaijan.

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

Source: CK correspondent

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