Statement by U.S. Department of State: The Detention of Oyub Titiev of Russian NGO “Memorial”

We are troubled by the news that the head of the local Chechen branch office of the Russian human rights NGO Memorial, Oyub Titiev, has been arrested.  This is the latest in a string of reports of alarming recent human rights violations in Chechnya.   We call on Chechen authorities to immediately release Mr. Titiev and allow independent civil society to operate free from harassment and intimidation.  Given well-founded concerns about potential mistreatment of Mr. Titiev in custody, we urge Russian federal authorities to ensure that Mr. Titiev’s rights are protected in accordance with the Russian constitution and Russia’s human rights obligations.