Rights activist in Chechnya freed on parole

Oyub Titiev

Oyub Titiev, the head of a Chechnya branch of the prominent human rights group Memorial speaks to his supporters as he leaves a prison in Argun, Russia, Friday, June 21, 2019. Titiyev was released from a Russian prison on Friday morning, more than 18 months after first being detained on drug charges his supporters say were fabricated. (AP Photo/Musa Sadulayev)

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ARGUN, Russia (AP) — A prominent rights activist in the Russian province of Chechnya has been released on parole in a case that generated widespread international condemnation.

Oyub Titiyev was released from jail Friday after a court in Chechnya ruled earlier this month to grant him parole.

Titiyev, who led the Chechen office of prominent rights group Memorial, has been in custody since his arrest in January 2018 on drugs possession charges. Titiyev, who denied the charges, received a four-year prison sentence in March.

Titiyev played a major role in exposing extrajudicial killings, kidnappings and torture perpetrated by security forces in Chechnya.

International rights groups denounced his arrest and demanded his release.

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