Alarmed by the detention of Oyub Titiev, Chairs of the Foreign Affairs committee, David McAllister (EPP, DE), and of the Human Rights Subcommittee, Pier Antonio Panzeri (S&D, IT), stated:

"We are very concerned at the detention this week of Oyub Titiev, the prominent human rights defender and Director of the Memorial Human Rights Centre in the Chechen Republic and we call on the Russian authorities to immediately ensure his release and to provide him with all the necessary safeguards in the current proceedings."

They added:

  • "The Russian rights group Memorial won the European Parliament's annual Sakharov Prize, in memory of murdered activist Natalya Estemirova, in 2009. Now Mr Oyub Titiev, her successor as Director of the Memorial Human Rights Centre in the Chechen Republic, is being detained. The Sakharov Prize is awarded by the European Parliament every year since 1988 to individuals or organisations who have made an important contribution to the fight for human rights or democracy.

  • The Foreign Affairs Committee and the Human Rights Subcommittee highlight the significance of civil society and organisations such as Memorial and the message that civil society activists everywhere must be free to exercise their most basic rights of freedom of thought and freedom of expression."