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Oyub Titiev

Human Rights Center Memorial
Vaclev Havel Human Rights Prize

The sixth Václav Havel Human Rights Prize – which honours outstanding civil society action in defence of human rights – has been awarded to the head of the Grozny office of the Memorial Human Rights Center in Chechyna, Oyub Titiev (Russian Federation)

Franco-German Prize

“As we celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights this year, France and Germany pay tribute to 15 figures who courageously defend human rights all over the world. Through them, our two countries honor all human rights advocates whose work is all too often ignored or obstructed, and express their appreciation and gratitude to all those who work every day to ensure that this declaration does not remain an empty slogan.”

Oyub Titiev is a human rights defender who works at Human Rights Center Memorial, a human rights organisation that provides legal assistance to victims of gross human rights violations and is involved in human rights education, research and publications. After the killing of his colleague Natalia Estemirova in July 2009, Oyub Titiev became the head of the Chechen office of the organisation. In recent years, Oyub Titiev has received numerous threats linked to his human rights work.

The environment for the work of human rights defenders (HRDs) in the Russian Federation is difficult, especially for those who defend and promote the rights of LGBTI people, ethnic and religious minorities, refugees, as well as activists of the North Caucasus and the unlawfully annexed Crimean Peninsula. HRDs are often subjected to acts of harassment, surveillance, physical attacks, threat, raids and searches on their offices and homes, slander and smear campaigns, judicial harassment, arbitrary detention, and ill-treatment, as well as violations of the rights to freedom of expression, association, and assembly. There have also been cases where HRDs have been murdered as a result of their work.