Activist jailed in Chechnya wins European human rights prize

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A human rights campaigner who has been jailed since January in the Russian province of Chechnya has been awarded a prestigious human rights prize by the Council of Europe.

The Council’s Parliamentary Assembly on Monday awarded the Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize to Oyub Titiev, who heads the Chechnya branch of Russian human rights center Memorial.

The chairman of Memorial’s board accepted the award on Titiev’s behalf.

Amnesty International called Titiev “one of Russia’s most courageous human rights defenders” for his work leading Memorial’s office in Chechnya’s capital for more than nine years. His predecessor, Natalia Estemirova, was kidnapped and killed in 2009.

Titiev is the prize’s sixth recipient. In 2016, it went to Yazidi women’s advocate Nadia Murad, a co-winner of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize.