MOSCOW, January 17. /TASS/. It would be incorrect to draw general conclusions about the oppression of human rights defenders in Chechnya after the head of the Memorial Human Rights Center’s regional branch was detained, Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peksov said.
"I don’t think that it is right to draw such conclusions after the head of the Memorial Center’s Chechen branch was caught with drugs," he said. "An investigation is underway, and only investigators are eligible to say if accusations are credible. We don’t believe it possible to draw any general conclusions in this case," the Kremlin spokesman added.
While commenting on the recent fire at the Memorial Center’s office in Ingushetia, Peskov said that "that is two different republics, two different regions of Russia."
Chechnya’s Shalinsky District Court earlier arrested Oyub Titiyev, the head of the Memorial Human Rights Center’s Grozny branch, on charges of drug trafficking. On January 12, the Russian Investigative Committee said in response to a request submitted by the Russian Presidential Council for the Civil Society Development and Human Rights that "according to the Chechen branch of the Investigative Committee, there have been no reports about any illegal actions of police officers towards Titiyev" so there were no reasons to conduct a pre-investigation probe.
Head of the Russian Presidential Human Rights Council Mikhail Fedotov told TASS earlier he did not rule out that drugs could have been planted in Titiyev’s car.