The human rights defenders accused of holding an unauthorized vigil in favour of Oub Titiev, the Chaiperson of Grozny Memorial, will be on trial on two different days.
Tverskoy City Court of Moscow has postponed the hearing of administrative cases against the Chairperson of the Civic Assistance Committee Svetlana Gannushkina and a member of the board of Memorial Human Rights Centre Oleg Orlov to 1 October and 13 September respectively. The official reason is that the human rights defenders who are accused of organization of an unauthorized vigil in favour of Oub Titiev, the Chairperson of the Grozny Memorial Human Rights Centre, did not have enough time to familiarize themselves with the case files. According to the lawyer Oleg Orlov, the court proceedings are deliberately protracted and it can lead to preventing the human rights defenders from attracting attention to Titiev’s case.
On 9 July, Svetlana Gannushkina and Oleg Orlov stepped out to the Kremlin wall holding banners reading “Freedom for Oub Titiev!”. The vigil only lasted several minutes: the human rights defenders were detained by the police and brought to a police department. A record was made with charges under Part 5 of the Article 20.2 of the Code of Administrative Offences of the Russian Federation (“violation of the established order of organization or conduction of a meeting, a rally, a demonstration, a procession or a vigil”).
Svetlana Gannushkina has posted the text of her submission on the case on her Facebook page.
In particular, the Chairperson of the Civic Assistance Committee emphasized that she is convinced that the vigil was held in the circumstances of extreme necessity and does not constitute an administrative offence (Article 2.7 of the Code of Administrative Offences of the Russian Federation).
“I think that what is going on in the ChR [Chechen Republic – translator] where the Russian legislation and international law have not been in force since a long time is well known to everyone, but no measures are taken to establish any law in ChR other than the Order of Ramzan. In such circumstances, all of our effort put into providing appropriate defense, our attempts to replace the pre-trial restriction of Titiev with a bail that was provided by Grigory Yavlinsky, Ksenia Sobchak and other responsible people, myself among them, have not led to anything. The absurd process is going on,” wrote the human rights defender.
Oub Titiev was detained in Grozny last January for alleged possession of marijuana. The human rights defender claims that the drugs have been planted on him during the detention. Advocates, human rights defenders, academic and art figures are convinced that the case is a provocation aimed at threatening the community of human rights defenders.
Photo: Viktoriya Odissonova, Novaya gazeta
Translated by Daria Gorbacheva