Staunton, March 20 – The declarations by ten Ingush teips that their members should boycott the April 22 referendum on the amendments to the Russian Constitution constitutes a clear warning to the Kremlin about how the population feels about being ignored and mistreated, Izabella Yevloyeva says.
But as long as these are issued by the teips rather than individuals, the editor of the independent Fortanga portal says, the powers that be are unlikely to react: they can’t arrest all the members of these extended family groups. If these appeals were to be signed, the signatories would no doubt be arrested (belaruspartisan.by/politic/494779/).
“These appeals,” she continues, “have been made anonymously because people have learned from bitter experience that as soon as you show civic activity, someone from the anti-extremist center will inevitably come after you, even in the case of those actions which are permitted by law, even for pickets.”
“When two sisters of political prisoner Zarifa Sautiyeva engaged in individual pickets, they were immediately taken to a police station and talked to. The powers do not want to see any form of civic activity. Shut up and sit silently. When you feel you have to open your mouths, we will put you in jail.”
“If the Kremlin wanted to find out what is happening,” Yevlovyeva continues, “this would be a not very good signal for the authorities which they would have to consider,” especially since “signals from other regions are also coming in,” although the powers are ignoring them too. “This cannot continue forever.”
When one of your organs is infected, she concludes, you at first may try to ignore it, “but sooner of later the disease progresses. That is how it is in Russia in the regions – many signals are being sent to Moscow.” Eventually, even it will have to take these into consideration, the editor concludes.
Meanwhile, a Russian court extended the detention of three more Ingush prisoners, Barakh Chemurziyev, Musa Malsagov, and Akhmed Barakhoyev, yet again, this time to April 11. The court refused to allow relatives to attend or to hand over medicines for the detainees (kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/347310/ and kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/347340/
Lawyers had sought house arrest for the detainees who are at no risk of flight or intimidating witnesses, but the court refused. Representatives of Chemurziyev in response have filed a second appeal with the European Court of Human Rights. Attorneys for the others are pursuing cases in appellate courts in Russia.