Saturday, August 29, 2020

Russian Court Drops Most Serious Charge against Ingush Activist But Orders His Detention Extended Anyway

Paul Goble

            Staunton, August 25 – The way in which a Russian court in Stavropol Kray has handled the case of Isropil Nalgiyev shows that the powers that be in Moscow and Magas plan to keep most Ingush activists under detention and thus out of circulation regardless of the facts – even if they drop the most serious charges against some of them as in this case.

            Yesterday, a court in Zheleznovodsk extended the detention of Ingush activist Isropil Nalgiyev for two more months even though it simultaneously dropped for lack of evidence the more serious charges in his case. Prosecutors told his lawyer that this action by the court changes nothing as far as Nalgiyev is concerned (

            Yesterday, for the fifth time, a Russian court extended the detention of Nalgiyev,30, who has been held since April 2019 for his role in the March 26, 2019, protests in Magas. The detainee admits that he was there and that he resisted the siloviki to protect himself and others but that he did so out of humanitarian considerations rather than for political ones.

            Initially, Nalgiyev was charged with using force against siloviki and being a member of an extremist community. But the latter charge, clearly for lack of evidence was dropped. That should have been enough to allow him to be released to home detention given that the first charge is far less serious than the second.

            But prosecutors insisted and the judge agreed that there had been no change in his status and therefore Nalgiyev could not be released.  His lawyer, Khuseyn Guliyev, contested this but without success. Nalgiyev wasn’t physically present at this hearing: he appeared via Internet connections. His family and supporters were also excluded.

            Guliyev points out that Nalgiyev doesn’t contest that he used force, only that he had no political motive for doing so, and that the young man has a family which currently is subsisting only by means of support from his relatives.  Further, the lawyer notes, the authorities have refused to allow his relatives to visit the detainee at any point during his detention.

            Nalgiyev’s next hearing is slated for September 2. At that time, Guliyev says, Nalgiyev’s family plan to be there.

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