Staunton, January 29 – Russian investigators at the North Caucasus Federal District assert that Ingush demonstrators brough illegal pressure on deputies in the Ingush Popular Assembly and this has become part of the basis for the charge that those who did so constituted an extremist organization.
But 11 deputies (out of 32) have issued an open letter challenging the Russian conclusion. They say that “independently and without being forced, they accepted the invitation of citizens to hold a meeting at the Spiritual Center of Muslims in order to respond to issues agitating residents of the republic” (fortanga.org/2020/01/deputaty-narodnogo-sobraniya-ingushetii-oprovergli-fakt-davleniya-na-nih-liderami-protesta/).
The deputies further point out that “while they are deputies, they do not cease to be Ingush or Muslims and observe the customs and religious rules” of those two categories. “If anyone had threatened us,” they continue, they would have reported it to the relevant Ingush authorities immediately. They didn’t because they were not subject to any pressure.
Meanwhile, Aslan Aushev, an Ingush activist facing trial for his role in the March 2019 demonstrations in Magas, says that the authorities gave all those they arrested more or less the same characteristics and that led to all of them being subject to more or less the same charges. There was no effort at an individual assessment (kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/345280/).
There were two other developments in Ingushetia of note. On the one hand, many Ingush are upset that the new government reflects the fact that “one outsider has replaced another” rather than being composed of Ingush from the republic itself as should be the case (kavkazr.com/a/30404175.html).
And on the other, the Ingush procurator reported that there were more than 100 land dispute cases pending in Nazran and Nazran district involving falsified documents, a reflection of just how significant land is in the smallest federal subject of the Russian Federation other than the two capital cities (zamanho.com/?p=16471).