Oyub Titiev, the head of the local Memorial human rights center may be sentenced to 10 years in prison
Oyub Titiev was stopped by police when driving to the Memorial office in Grozny.
Titiev’s lawyer told the press that he was charged with the illegal possession of drugs (article 228 of the Russian Criminal Code).
According to the police, a suspicious package smelling of marijuana was discovered in Titiev`s car.
Titiev was brought to court and put under house arrest for two months. Police raided his house searching for Titiev’s relatives. Pressure on relatives is commonly used in Chechnya in order to obtain confessions.
Titiev may become the third activist charged recently with the illegal possession of drugs. This is the method the Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov uses to get rid of his opponents, experts say.
Oyub Titiev became the Head of Memorial in Chechnya after Nataliya Estemirova was murdered in 2009.
In Chechnya Memorial helps to search for missing people (mostly abducted) and provides legal assistance to the local residents.
The commissioner of the Council of Europe on human rights has already condemned the incident.