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Chechen court puts local rights activist under 2-month arrest

January 12, 2018, 0:30 UTC+3 GROZNY

Oyub Titiyev had been detained on January 9 on suspicion of illegal possession of drugs

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© Yuri Mashkov/TASS

GROZNY, January 12. /TASS/. A district court in Russia’ North Caucasus Republic of Chechnya ruled to place Oyub Titiyev, the head of the Memorial Human Rights Center’s Grozny branch, under a two-month arrest, his lawyer told TASS on Thursday.

A source in the Memorial center said earlier that Titiyev had been detained on January 9 on suspicion of illegal possession of drugs.

"The court ruled to place him in custody for two months, until March 9," lawyer Pyotr Zaikin said.

Meanwhile, the Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights, a consultative body on issues of human rights and freedoms, requested Russian Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev to hand over the case to Moscow investigators or send officials to Chechnya to oversee the probe.

An open letter, published on the council’s official website and signed by its head Mikhail Fedotov, requests Kolokoltsev "to send officials of the Interior Ministry’s Central Headquarters to the village of Kurchaloi in order to ensure due procedural control, or to hand over the investigation into Titiyev’s case to the Russian Interior Ministry’s Investigative Department through the due process of the law."

Sources in Chechnya’s law enforcement agencies told TASS earlier that during preventive activities carried out along the highway connecting Oiskhara and Mesker Yurt, local police stopped Oyub Titiyev, who was driving a Lada Kalina car, for an identity check. A plastic bag containing about 180 grams of a plant-based substance smelling of marijuana was found in the car, seized and sent for an examination to a forensic center. After that, a criminal case over illegal drug possession was initiated.

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