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The Supreme Court in Russia's Chechnya region on Friday rejected an appeal of the extension of the pretrial detention of the chief of a human rights group. That means Oyub Titiyev, the director of Memorial's Grozny office, will remain in jail until at least June 9.
The 60-year-old Titiyev has been in pretrial detention in Chechnya since his arrest on January 9 for a marijuana-possession charge he and supporters say was fabricated.
According to Western human rights activists, Chechen police systematically plant drugs on critics of Chechnya’s pro-Moscow leader, Ramzan Kadyrov.
In 2014, following public criticism of Kadyrov, activist Ruslan Kutayev was sentenced to four years in prison on drug-possession charges that he flatly denied. In 2016, journalist Zhalaudi Geriyev of the Caucasian Knot website was also arrested on drug charges and sentenced to three years in prison. He remains in custody.