Today the Commissioner published a letter she sent to the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation, Mr Yury Chaika, concerning the situation of Mr Oyub Titiev, the leading member of the Human Rights Centre Memorial who is being prosecuted in the Chechen Republic.
In the letter, the Commissioner requests that decisive steps be taken to ensure respect for Mr Titiev’s rights, including by urgently releasing him from custody. She also requests information about the follow up to the decision of the Prosecutor General’s Office to conduct an inquiry into the shortcomings that the Presidential Human Rights Council identified with regard to Mr Titiev’s case.
The Commissioner also underscores Mr Titiev’s important work in defending human rights in the North Caucasus and, in particular, his quest for accountability for serious human rights violations by officials belonging to law enforcement agencies or other security structures.
“States must create an environment conducive to the work of human rights defenders, enabling individuals, groups and associations to freely carry out activities, to promote and strive for the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, without any restrictions”, she writes. “This is all the more important in settings which already present considerable challenges to the protection of human rights.”