Oyub Titiev in courtroom in Shali, Russia's Chechen republic. Photo: 18 March 2019

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Oyub Titiev says his case was “fabricated”

A courtroom in Russia’s Chechnya republic has sentenced a outstanding rights activist to 4 years in jail for possessing unlawful medication.

Oyub Titiev, who heads the regional department of rights group Memorial, mentioned the case was “politically motivated”.

Amnesty International said the court verdict was “an affront” to justice.

In recent times, Memorial has investigated alleged abuse by Chechen authorities, together with kidnappings, torture and the persecution of homosexual males.

Chechen authorities have repeatedly denied the allegations.

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Media captionChechen chief Ramzan Kadyrov is questioned by Sarah Rainsford on the area’s human rights report

Memorial is the final rights group to have a presence within the North Caucasus republic run by authoritarian chief Ramzan Kadyrov.

Oyub Titiev’s predecessor at Memorial, Natalia Estemirova, was kidnapped and killed in 2009.

What did the courtroom rule?

The courtroom within the city of Shali, north-east of the capital Grozny, sentenced Titiev, aged 61, after the decide took practically 9 hours to learn out her verdict.

The courtroom was filled with reporters and diplomats, in addition to kin and neighbours of the activist.

The decide mentioned she had agreed with the calls for of prosecutors, sentencing Titiev to 4 years in jail.

How did Titiev react?

The activist denied the costs, saying they have been trumped up.

Titiev was arrested in January 2018 after police stopped his automobile to verify paperwork.

The police mentioned hashish had been present in his automobile – he mentioned the medication had been planted.

After the decision, Titiev mentioned the authorities “fabricated the prison case”.

What about worldwide response?

In an announcement, Amnesty Worldwide mentioned: “The four-year jail sentence slapped on Oyub Titiev is an affront to human rights, purpose, and justice.

“By saying him responsible, regardless of all of the proof on the contrary, the courtroom has demonstrated how deeply flawed the Russian justice system is.

“The courtroom has revealed itself to be little greater than a software that the regional authorities have used to silence one of many final human rights defenders working in Chechnya.

The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatovic, mentioned: “The conviction of Oyub Titiev is but the latest example of the hostile and dangerous environment by which human rights defenders function within the Chechen Republic.”