Staunton, August 17 – In a letter from her jail cell in Nalchik, Zarifa Sautiyeva says she is proud to be among those who have stood up for her people and glad not to be among those who are oppressing it and urges all Ingush to continue their struggle for dignity and justice (facebook.com/themagastimes/photos/a.454296371384318/1425558164258129/ and zamanho.com/?p=11830).
Sautiyeva, a curator and activist and the first woman to be arrested in Ingushetia for fighting against the September 26 border accords and the repression of those who have taken part in that fight, says that she is “proud” of all Ingush who have stood up and that now “our task is not to allow anyone to drive us back” from the positions we have taken
“We must not make peace with injustice,” she continues. “Russian laws allow us to express our disagreement with arbitrariness by various means. Use all of them, all level means but do not keep silent. Fear is an irrational feeling which one must pass through if we want to preserve ourselves and our republic and leave something to our descendants.”
Being imprisoned is not easy, Sautiyeva says; but she is proud to be among “the flower of the nation.” Although she is deprived of things like showers and the Internet, “it turns out that you can get used to anything” and “what is important is that there are books, pens and paper so life continues.”
She thanks all those who have sent her messages of support; and she concludes by saying that “the feeling of one’s own dignity is something so valuable” that one must be prepared to pay a high price. Sautiyeva says she will continue to send messages to her supporters and asks that they “not forget” about her and her fellow prisoners.
The Ingush activist can only be inspired by support from several dozen leading Circassian women from across the North Caucasus. Written on August 5 and still open for signatures, the message in support of Sautiyeva has just been published by the Zapravkbr.ru portal (zapravakbr.ru/index.php/30-uncategorised/1320-obrashchenie-zhenskaya-obshchestvennost-severnogo-kavkaza-v-zashchitu-zarify-sautievoj).
In an open letter to the authorities, the Circassian activists of the Kabardino-Balkar Republic, the Adygyey Republic, and the Karachayevo-Cherkess Republic express their outrage that the powers that be are keeping Ingush activists not in their own republic but beyond its borders.
“Our particular anger is the result of the detention and holding in an investigative prison of Zarifa Sautiyeva, whose only guilty consists of her participation in protest meetings. She and all the others must be released forwith.
Meanwhile, the health of the two oldest Ingush prisoners, Malsag Zhakhov, 67, and Akhmed Barakhoyev, 65, continues to deteriorate because in violation of the law, their jailors are not providing them with necessary medicines or allowing their friends and family to bring them the treatments they need (kavkazr.com/a/не-жаловались-до-последнего/30113303.html).
Under Russian law, the government is required to supply them with medicines or to allow families and friends to bring these vital materials to them. But the authorities are violating that law, leading some to conclude that “the Putin group is slowly killing our elders,” a crime like the detention of Sautiyeva that will only add to popular anger against Moscow and Magas.