Rights activist in Chechnya gets parole on drug sentence

A court in Russia's province of Chechnya has paroled a prominent rights activist whose conviction drew an international outcry.

Oyub Titiyev, who led the Chechen office of prominent rights group Memorial, had been in custody since he was arrested in January 2018 on drug possession charges. Titiyev denied the charges.

He received a four-year prison sentence in March. On Monday, the Shali court ruled to grant him an early release. Titiyev is set to be let go in 10 days, according to his lawyer.

Titiyev played a major role in exposing extrajudicial killings, kidnappings and torture perpetrated by security forces in Chechnya. The drug charges against him were broadly seen as a vendetta.

International rights groups have denounced Titiyev's arrest and demanded his release.