Support Oyub Titiyev


Oyub Titiyev. Grozny. 2011 Photo: Maria Shishchenkova

Oyub Titiyev, head of the Memorial HRC Grozny office, was detained on 9 January 2018 in Chechnya and now faces from three up to ten years in prison on drugs possession charges (Article 228 of the Russian Federation Criminal Code).

We have been working together with Oyub Titiyev for fifteen years now. Oyub is a sportsman, a former physical education teacher and a martial arts coach. As a Muslim he refrains from alcohol consumption or smoking. The fabricated charges against Oyub are absurd. Oyub has repeatedly denied having anything to do with the drugs the police claim to have found in his car. The witness, who, according to the police, had sold the drugs to Oyub, failed to identify him in the lineup procedure.

It is clear that the nature of the motives for Oyub Titieyev’s persecution is political and they are to be sought in Titiev’s work for the Memorial HRC. Indeed, Chechnya’s leadership have acknowledged that much. Speaking on 25 December 2017, Chechen Parliament speaker Magomed Daudov said ‘human rights defenders’ from all kinds of 'centres' were behind President Ramzan Kadyrov’s making it to the Magnitsky list as well as suspension of Kadyrov’s social networks accounts. The activists were to be punished severely, the speaker said. On 17 January 2018, a week after Titiyev’s arrest, President Kadyrov said he had no doubts about Titieyev being guilty as charged. He also added he saw no place for independent human rights activists in the Chechen Republic.

The threats described above are a matter of utmost concern. Oyub Titiyev, our friend and colleague, has found himself in an extremely dangerous situation.

The acts of intimidation that included setting fire to Memorial’s office in Ingushetia (17 January), planting and then immediately discovering a piece of ‘evidence’ implicating Titiyev during a police raid on Memorial’s Grozny office (19 January), torching a Memorial HRC car in Dagestan (22 January) are obviously aimed at squeezing Memorial from Chechnya and the rest of the North Caucasus.


Having said that, we believe each of us can make a difference and change Oyub Titiyev’s situation for the better.

We encourage you to join this campaign. Write to the Russian President and demand Oyub Titiyev’s release:
Att.: President Vladimir Putin, 23 Ilyinka, Moscow, 103132, Russia.

A man of courage with a demonstrated ability to withstand heavy pressure, Oyub Titiyev needs to remain aware of our solidarity. Write to the Grozny pre-trial detention centre:
Att.: Oyub Titiyev, 2 Kunta-Khadzhi Kishiyeva, Leninsky District, Grozny, 364037, Russia.

Your support will be greatly appreciated.

More on Oyub Titiyev's case (in Russian)

International Memorial's Statement on Oyub Titiyev