KURCHALOY, Russia – A court in Russia's Chechnya is due to issue its verdict Monday in the case of a prominent rights activist.
Oyub Titiyev was detained in January 2018 and charged with drug possession in what has been largely perceived as a vendetta against this rare critic of the Chechen government.
Titiyev was the head of the Chechen office of prominent rights group Memorial and played a major role in exposing extrajudicial killings, kidnappings and torture perpetrated by the Chechen government.
Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, who previously dismissed rights activists as liars and traitors, publicly called the 61-year-old Titiyev a "junkie." Titiyev's supporters say the case aims not only to silence the activist, who is known as a devout Muslim, but also discredit him in the eyes of the community.