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OSCE concerned over arrest of director of Chechen Memorial Human Rights Center’s branch

January 11, 9:28 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, January 11. /TASS/. Director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) Ingibjorg Solrun Gisladottir has expressed concern over the arrest of Oyub Titiev, director of Chechnya’s Memorial Human Rights Center.

"I am deeply concerned regarding the detainment, grounds for arrest and the physical and mental well-being of Oyub Titiev in custody," the ODIHR press service quoted her as saying on Wednesday. ‘

’Given Oyub Titiev’s reputation as a prominent and dedicated human rights defender, I urge the Russian authorities to ensure his human rights, including access to a lawyer and the rights to a fair trial, to physical integrity and dignity, and to protection from judicial harassment, criminalization and arbitrary arrest.’’

A spokesman of Chechen law enforcement agencies told TASS earlier Titiev was detained after police had found a bag with 180 grams of a plant-based substance smelling of marijuana in his car they had stopped for an identity check. A criminal case on charges of illegal possession of drugs was opened against Titiev.

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