On March 18, the judge of the Shali City Court Madina Zaynetdinova found Oyub Titiev, the Head of Memorial Human Rights Centre office in Grozny, guilty of a crime under article 228, part 2 of the Russian Criminal Code [large-scale drug possession] and sentenced him to four years in penal colony.
The severity level of the crime imputed to Titiev was reconsidered and changed from severe to medium on the ground of mitigating circumstances. When the court session ended, Petr Zaikin, Titiev’s lawyer, said that the change of the crime severity level would allow Titiev to apply for conditional release after ⅓ of the time served — already on May 10.
The Head of the Memorial Human Rights Centre program “Hot Spots” Oleg Orlov who was present at the delivery of the verdict added that in his judgement only one sentence could be fair: complete and unconditional acquittal. However, he was happy that the sentence was humane. It made him think that the public campaign was not meaningless in such cases, as he put it.
The reading of the verdict to the human rights defender Oyub Titiev took more than nine hours.
To recap, the persecution requested to sentence Oyub Titiev to four years in standard regime penal colony as well as to a fine at a rate of 100,000 rubles and one year of restriction of liberty.
The head of the Chechen office of Memorial Human Rights Centre Oyub Titiev has been in custody since January 9, 2018. He has been charged with drug possession — article 228, part 2 of the Russian Criminal Code. Titiev has claimed that drugs were planted to him by policemen and a criminal prosecution was initiated by Chechen authorities to prevent Memorial from working in the region.
Memorial Human Rights Centre has asserted that the case was fabricated and has declared Oyub Titiev a political prisoner.
You can find more about life history of Oyub Titiev, fabrication of his case and persecution of human rights defenders in the North Caucasus in the special project of Memorial Human Rights Centre.
Source: Memorial Human Rights Centre