On June 10, Shali Town Court granted early release to Oyub Titiyev, Head of Grozny office of the Russian NGO Memorial.
In March 2019, Titiyev was sentenced to four years in a penal settlement on charges of possession of drugs. According to him, the drugs were planted by the police and the prosecution was initiated by the Chechen authorities which were set to hinder the work of Memorial in the region.
Moreover, the Memorial team believes that Chechen officials trumped up the charges to revenge themselves on Titiyev for his reports on rights abuses. Amnesty international and Human Rights Watch recognised him as a political prisoner.
In October 2018, the Human Rights Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe awarded Oyub Titiyev with Prize of Vaclav Havel for his courage and advocating for human rights.
Last week, Moscow journalists Ivan Golunov faced a similar drug-linked incident: he was detained on June, 6 and beaten by the police. The special correspondent of Meduza is accused of attempted large scale drug sale. He faces from 10 to 20 years in prison. Colleagues and human rights activists believe the case to be a revenge for the investigations of Golunov and claim that the drugs were planted on him by the Russian siloviki.