Friday, November 9, 2018

Ingushetia Courts Begin Imposing Fines of Those Who Protested Against Border Accord

Paul Goble

            Staunton, November 9 – Magomed Mutsolgov, an Ingush rights activist who was heavily involved in the October demonstrations against the border accord between Yunus-Bek Yevkurov and Ramzan Kadyrov says that cases have been opened against himself and 21 others who were involved in the demonstrations.

            Calling this “a new wave of persecution” by the authorities, the activist said he personally had been fined 10,000 rubles (150 US dollars) and that the republic courts will hand out similar sentences to the others, who include significantly the leader of one of the taips ( and

            The amount may seem small but it equals or exceeds the average monthly income of residents in that North Caucasus republic.  

            All 222, Mutsogolov continued, were being charged with having violated Article 20.2 of the Russian administrative code for violating the rules on the conduct of public meetings.  Given the elasticity of that provision in the code, it is entirely possible that additional Ingush opponents of the border guard will be charged, found guilty, and fined as well.

            Meanwhile, Maksim Shechenko, a journalist and commentator said on Ekho Moskvy that by taking the case to the courts, “Ingushetia is showing an example to the entire country of how to discuss difficult issues in the court system” and that  Yevkurov was to be praised for turning to the courts (

            The commentator did not say but his words may suggest that other regions and republics with grievances of one kind or another may turn to the courts, hoping against hope that they will get justice from institutions long controlled by the executive branch even though the Russian Constitution declares them independent of it. 

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