Staunton, May 28 – The relatives of Ingush protesters now under arrest say they will summon those who backed changes in the republic’s law on referendum to a shariat court to be held in the offices of the Muslim Spiritual Directorate (MSD) of Ingushetia, confident that such a hearing, whether the officials appear or not, will spark a new round of protests.
The changes in the law that the shariat court will consider, these relatives of the activists say, include dropping the requirement that important issues such as changing the borders of the republic be decided only by means of a referendum (fortanga.org/2019/05/prichastnyh-k-izmeneniyu-zakona-o-referendume-vyzovut-v-shariatskij-sud/).
Republic head Yunus-Bek Yevkurov ignored that requirement last September when he concluded an agreement with Chechnya’s Ramzan Kadyrov that transferred 26,000 hectares of Ingush land to Chechnya, an action illegal under the laws then in force that sparked massive protests last fall and new demonstrations this spring when Yevkurov’s regime arrested protesters.
The relatives of those detained also say that “the criminal persecution” of their family members has been conducted “on the basis of political motives for suppressing the protest of the Ingush people” and add that they are ready to show that “clashes were the result of provocation planned by the authorities.”
Leading the list of those who will be summoned to the shariat court, although very unlikely to attend, is Yevkurvo himself. Almost all the other members of his government will be called as well. The opposition has used this tactic before. In January, the Council of Teips of Ingushetia called certain deputies and religious leaders to appear before the shariat court.