ADDED ON: 03/19/2019

Russian court jails top Chechen rights activist for 4 years

03/18/2019 | Pulse Nigeria

A Russian court on Monday sentenced a top Chechen rights activist to four years in a penal colony after a drugs trial that has drawn condemnation from international groups. Oyub Titiyev, head of the Chechnya branch of rights group Memorial, was arrested at the start of last year on what supporters said were trumped-up charges. The 61-year-old was in court in Chechnya’s Shali district for the marathon sentencing, which exceeded nine hours, images and statements from Memorial showed. Memorial is the last rights organisation to retain a visible presence in Chechnya while remaining critical of local leader Ramzan Kadyrov. Titiyev’s lawyers said the case was connected to his investigations into the secretive prison system of a republic that is notorious for rights abuses.

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