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Persoverzicht Tsjetsjenië | januari 2018
10 januari 2018

Head of Memorial NGO branch detained in Chechnya on drug charges: The head of the Grozny branch of the Memorial human rights centre, Oyub Titiyev, was detained in Chechnya after law enforcement officers found about a drug substance in his car. Kommersant reports that human rights activists link the detention of Titiyev to his activity in Chechnya. (Kommersant, TASS)

11 januari 2018

Controversy around detention of head of Memorial NGO branch in Chechnya:  A criminal case on charges of 'illegal drug possession' has been opened against the head of the Grozny branch of the Memorial human rights centre Oyub Titiyev. The head of the Presidential Human Rights Council Fedotov has asked the head of the Russian Investigative Committee Bastrykin to check the circumstances of the detention of Titiyev in Chechnya. Some human rights activists did not rule out that the case against Titiyev may be a fabrication. The Council of Europe's Human Rights Commissioner Muiznieks expressed concern over Titiyev's detention and called on the Russian authorities to immediately release him. The US State Department also called for an immediate release of Titiyev. (Gazeta.ru, Interfax, TASS)  

12 januari 2018

Chechen human rights activist arrested for two months on drug charges: A court in Chechnya has ordered the arrest for two months of the head of the Grozny branch of the Memorial human rights centre Oyub Titiyev suspected of 'illegal possession of drugs'. In the view of Memorial human rights centre board chairman Alexander Cherkasov, Titiyev has been detained for his activity in defense of human rights. In a statement, the EU stressed that the arrest of Titiyev was "especially concerning, given that his predecessor, Natalia Estemirova, was killed in 2009 and that no one has yet been brought to justice for this crime." The EU expressed the hope that Titiyev will be released swiftly. Meanwhile, Chechen head Ramzan Kadyrov's spokesman, Alvi Karimov, described the US State Department's call for the release of Titiyev as "pressure on the investigation."(Interfax)

15 januari 2018

Chechen human rights activist's family leaves Chechnya: Reportedly, family members of the head of the Chechen branch of the Memorial human rights centre Oyub Titiyev, who was accused of 'illegal drug possession', have left Chechnya for security reasons. (RBC; Ekho Moskvy)

16 januari 2018

Chechnya's Kadyrov put on Lithuania's 'Magnitsky List': Lithuania has blacklisted 49 Russian citizens, including the head of the Russian Investigative Committee Alexander Bastrykin and Chechen head Ramzan Kadyrov, under the 'Magnitsky Law'. (Gazeta.ru, Kommersant, Regnum; Ekho Moskvy)

17 januari 2018

Chechen human rights activist appeals to Putin: In a letter to President Putin, the head of the Russian Investigative Committee Bastrykin and FSB head Bortnikov, the head of the Chechen branch of the Memorial human rights centre Oyub Titiyev, who has been detained on charges of 'illegal drug possession', denies his guilt and argues that the drugs were planted in his car. Titiyev also stresses that if he confesses, it could mean that he "was forced to admit guilt." (Novaya Gazeta, RIAN)

Chechnya launches brutal crackdown on drugs?: Reportedly, authorities in Chechnya launched a brutal crackdown against drug suspects last August on the orders of Chechen head Ramzan Kadyrov. An investigation by the Republic.ru website claims that Chechen authorities resorted to torture in an anti-drug campaign. (MT)

18 januari 2018

Fire at Memorial NGO office in Ingushetia: A criminal case has been opened in connection with the fire that broke out at the office of the Memorial human rights centre in Ingushetia on Wednesday. Representatives of Memorial argue that the fire was caused by arson. The incident took place a week after the head of Memorial's branch in Chechnya was arrested on charges of 'illegal drug possession'. (Interfax, Kommersant, MT)

19 januari 2018

Searches at Memorial office in Chechnya: According to media reports, law enforcement officers on Friday searched the Grozny office of the Memorial human rights centre as part of an investigation of the case against the head of the Chechen branch of Memorial Oyub Titiyev. (Kommersant)

Montenegro coup trial: According to Izvestia, the names of Russian state officials, including Chechen head Ramzan Kadyrov, are no longer mentioned in legal proceedings in the case over a 2016 coup attempt in Montenegro. (Izvestia)

22 januari 2018

Over 1.5 mln signatures in Putin's support collected: More than 1.5 million signatures have been collected in support of Vladimir Putin, who seeks a new term as an independent candidate in the 18 March Presidential elections. Izvestia does not rule out that Putin may present main provisions of his election program at a meeting with his authorised representatives, which could be held in the end of January.  (ii) In an interview with 'Vesti v Subbotu' on Russia's state-run TV channel Rossiya 1, TV personality Ksenia Sobchak, nominated by the 'Civil Initiative' party as a Presidential candidate, said that she wants to "unite people" and show that there are "many people" in Russia who want change. Answering a question on her position on Crimea, Sobchak said that Russia violated international law and also set a "time bomb" because in future, Tatarstan or Chechnya might exercise their "sovereign rights" in a similar way, something that could lead to Russia's disintegration. According to media reports, Sobchak has collected about 101,000 signatures in support of her nomination. (iii) Vedomosti views the record number of people who expressed intention to run in the Presidential elections as the main result of the first stage of the election campaign. Rossiya 1 TV channel anticipates that there will be no more than 17 candidates in the March Presidential elections. Vedomosti mentions that on Wednesday, a working group of Russia's Central Elections Commission plans to consider complaints over press coverage of the election campaign. (Izvestia, Kommersant, NG, RBC, RG, TASS, Vedomosti; Rossiya 1)

24 januari 2018

One more attack on Memorial NGO in North Caucasus: A car of the Makhachkala office of the Memorial human rights centre was torched late on Monday in Dagestan. The incident took place a week after Memorial's office in Ingushetia was set on fire by arsonists. Earlier this month, the head of the Chechen office of Memorial Oyub Titiyev was detained in Chechnya for 'unlawful drug possession'. Kommersant cites Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Nils Muiznieks, who has expressed concern over the situation around the Memorial NGO and called on Russian authorities to put an end to attacks against human rights defenders in the North Caucasus. (Kommersant, MT, Novaya Gazeta)

29 januari 2018

TV personality Sobchak holds one-man picket in Grozny: TV personality Ksenia Sobchak, who intends to run in the 18 March Presidential elections, held a one-man picket on Sunday in Grozny (capital of Chechnya) in support of the head of the Chechen office of the Memorial human rights centre Oyub Titiyev who was detained on charges of 'illegal drug possession'.  During her visit to Ingushetia on Saturday, Sobchak visited the site of the Ingush office of the Memorial NGO, which was damaged in an arson attack on 17 January. (Novaya Gazeta, RBC; Ekho Moskvy)

 

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