Staunton, June 25 – An appeals court in Pyatigorsk has overruled a lower court which imposed at the request of prosecutors a tougher sentence on Ruslan Dzeytov, an Ingush activist still in detention for his role in the March 2019 protests. But it refused to release him as his lawyers had sought because of fears he might contract the coronavirus while in jail.
Dzeytov was arrested in May 2019 and in February, he was convicted of using force against siloviki and sentenced to 21 months in a settlement. Then in April, at the request of prosecutors, he was ordered to be put in a more restrictive general regime colony . The appeals court’s decision voids that (fortanga.org/2020/06/uchastniku-ingushskogo-protesta-ruslanu-dzejtovu-otmenili-uzhestochenie-nakazaniya/).
His attorney, Visit Tsoroyev, welcomed the decision but noted that his request that Dzeytov be released while he appeals his minor conviction so that he won’t be infected with the coronavirus. It is unclear whether the change in this sentence represents a change in policy or is a one-off event in Stavropol’s courts.
Today, voting on the proposed constitutional amendments began in Ingushetia. Nine Ingush teips have called on their members to boycott the referendum, and interviews by the Fortanga agency suggest that many Ingush plan to follow their advice (fortanga.org/2020/06/golosovat-po-popravkam-v-konstitutsiyu-ne-budu-rezultaty-videooprosa-na-ulitsah-ingushetii/).
Others with whom the agency spoke said they would vote, but many said they would vote against the amendments.