In Chechnya on Monday, March 18, a court sentenced the head of the Chechen branch “the Memorial” Ouba Titieva to four years in prison, the prosecution asked to convict a human rights activist to four years in a General regime colony. The defence Titieva said it will appeal the verdict, although early advocates noted that they expect indictment decision of the court. In an interview with the Russian service RFI Chairman of the Board of “Memorial” Jan Raczynski said that the defenders did not expect an acquittal in a case where fraud is obvious, “any unbiased observer”.
RFI: How would you comment on the sentence? He turned out to be much softer than was required by the investigation?
Jan Raczynski: Yes, and this is the only welcome news. Sentence less severe than requested by the Prosecutor. Everything else is extremely sad. The case is completely falsified, is obvious to any unbiased observer. Unfortunately, that in Russia it is possible to make such a sentence is absolutely illegal, absolutely obviously rigged, characterizes our judicial, and our state system.
Obviously it was clear and to the President that this case was falsified. It does not need to delve deeply, there’s enough outrageous story. It shows and his attitude towards the role of justice and its ability to influence the situation in Chechnya. And they are both extremely sad.
You hoped for an acquittal at the beginning of this case? Or do you have no doubt in the judgment?
I, like my colleagues had serious doubts of the possibility of justification. We pretty well imagine justice in Chechnya. The rigging of this accusation was obvious to all.
What exactly was the purpose of this case, which it was fabricated?
This is not the first such example of falsification cases. Here it is exclusively the identity of the accused, Oub Titiev was, if not the main, one of the main employees of “Memorial” in Chechnya. One of the few who worked selflessly, protecting people from the tyranny of the authorities. This was the reason for the falsification of the case.
This is an attempt to stop all the opposing authorities. Unfortunately, we see this trend in Russia as a whole, albeit in less brazen ways.
It’s been over a year since the detention Ouba Titieva. How to change life in the region if, as you say, the authorities to achieve their goal this arrest and conviction?
Now early to speak about it, and I have not been to the region. Judging from what colleagues tell you, the result is ambivalent — on the one hand, indeed, the most active human rights activist was in custody. But something happened, something not seen for many years the villagers, neighbors Ouba Titieva, came to court to testify in his favor. Substantially addressed, one way or another, against process organized by the authorities. Maybe it is to some extent a revival of civil society in Chechnya. It was almost destroyed by Ramzan Kadyrov