The case of the Ingush protest leaders

On November 8, a hearing was held at the Kislovodsk City Court at which the case of the leaders of the Ingush opposition was considered, namely the case of Achmed Barachoew, Musa Malsagow, Ismail Nalgiew, Sarifa Sautiewa, Malsag Uschakow, Bagaudin Chautiew and Barach Tschemursiew. They have been charged with organising violence at a rally in Magas in 2019. The opposition leaders are also accused of creating or participating in an extremist society. As a reminder, all seven members of the Ingush opposition were recognised as political prisoners by the Human Rights Centre Memorial.

The prosecution requested the following sentences: seven and a half years for Sarifa Sautiewa, eight years each for Ismail Nalgiew, Bagaudin Chautiew and Barach Tschemursiew, and nine years each for Achmed Barachoew, Musa Malsagow and Malsag Uschakow.

The representatives of the prosecution, namely prosecutors Dmitriy Khandogiy and Timur Zolotovskiy, outlined the prosecution’s position as follows:

The Teip Council, the Ingush Committee of National Unity and the World Congress of the Ingush People were trying to discredit the republic’s current government, and the Teip Council was even trying to replace it all, to become a shadow government. They planned to achieve resignation of all government bodies in the republic, to put their own people in these bodies, as well as to make own deputies. In order to realise this plan they set up an extremist group“;

The signing of the border agreement was used as an excuse, they were inciting political enmity and staging unsanctioned rallies“;

They called a meeting of the Sharia court, forced deputies to attend it and called for a boycott of those who did not show up. This was also done to discredit the authorities“;

They were disseminating false information about the illegality of the decision of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation (the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation, unlike the republican Constitutional Court, recognised the agreement on the border as not violating the Constitution. Yevkurov was the one who filed a complaint with the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation)“;

The apogee of the extremist group’s activities was the rally on March 26-27, 2019. The protesters planned the violence in advance, they built barricades, behaved aggressively, threw stones and used force against the National Guard. The protesters were led by Achmed Barachoew“;

There were no violations at the rally, but after the time of the sanctioned rally ended, the law enforcers on command started pushing the participants out of the square. The defendants urged people not to leave the square and to resist. During the negotiations with the authorities they stated that the participants would not leave the square“;

A number of witnesses – residents of Ingushetia – were subjected to pressure, so at the trial they rejected the testimony they had given during the preliminary investigation“;

The guilt of the defendants has been proven. They collectively and publicly demanded the resignation of the head of Ingushetia, Yunus-bek Yevkurov, the cancellation of the agreement on the border with Chechnya and changes in the referendum law. Acting on the grounds of political enmity, they organised an unsanctioned rally. Their actions led to violence against representatives of the authorities“.

On 9-10 November, the court held debates on the case of the Ingush opposition leaders. Lawyers of the accused, as well as a number of public human rights defenders, spoke at the hearings. Further debates will continue next week.


Source: Human Rights Centre Memorial