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Statement on the Sentencing of Oyub Titiev

Delivered by Minister Counsellor Henning Hj. Johansen at the Permanent Council, Vienna, 28 March 2019

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Mr. Chair,

We remain worried about the human rights situation in the Northern Caucasus including in the Chechen Republic of the Russian Federation. On Monday, Mr. Oyub Titiev was sentenced to four years of incarceration in a penal colony. As was established by the Mission of Experts under the Moscow Mechanism, the charges were brought on the basis of “obviously fabricated evidence”. This is yet another example of the Russian authorities’ apparent unwillingness to stand up for human rights in the region.

Human rights defenders remain at risk around our region, not least in Chechnya and other parts of the North-Caucasus. Though we are impressed by those who continue to stand up for human rights at great personal risk, we are equally dismayed when a government elects not to afford these rights to those who defend them. That is a violation of our commitments to the full and equal enjoyment of human rights of all citizens.

We call on Russia immediately to release Mr. Titiev and to drop all charges against him. Further, we would encourage Moscow to ensure that Russia’s international human rights obligations, as well as the domestic legislation of their implementation, are observed throughout the federation.

Thank you.

Statement in PDF