Staunton, September 22 – The Popular Assembly of Ingushetia returned to Makhmud-Ali Kalimatov the latter’s proposal to do away with the republic’s Constitutional Court. Deputies said the proposal was a violation of the republic constitution, the Russian constitution and the laws of both the republic and the country (fortanga.org/2020/09/kalimatov-nazad/).
They added that the Constitutional Court was the only institution of the republic government that had denounced Yunus-Bek Yevkurov’s giveaway of ten percent of the republic’s land to Chechnya and speculated that the idea of killing the court originated not with Kalimatov himself but in Moscow.
Instead of voting it down, the deputies said they would not even consider such an unconstitutional and illegal proposal (parlamentri.ru/index.php/press-centr/novosti/5010-v-narodnom-sobranii-sostoyalos-sto-pyatdesyat-pyatoe-zasedanie-soveta).
This action followed denunciations of Kalimatov’s proposal by the Union of Teips (facebook.com/soveteipov/posts/351472355978592), republic legal specialists (kavkaz-uzel.eu/blogs/342/posts/45174), and individual deputies (instagram.com/p/CFaQ9bhKoFb/?igshid=1whvp6h6eiaya and instagram.com/p/CFbAcnnKi4S/?igshid=hxjhvik83h9w).
They dismissed Kalimatov’s claim that his proposal was all about saving money as a pretext and said that if he wanted to proceed, he would have to seek the amendment of the republic’s constitution, something that would require special arrangements including a popular referendum.
All this sets the stage for a new standoff between Moscow and Magas, on the one hand, and the Ingush people, on the other, a standoff that will likely trigger a new round of protests if the former continue to press for disbanding an institution many Ingush see as their only defense against official arbitrariness and a symbol of their republic.
Meanwhile, there were three other developments today reflecting a new deterioration in relations between the Ingush and their rulers. First, a Russian court in Stavropol Kray has refused a request by Magomed Khamkhoyev for a translator so that he can present his defense in Ingush rather than Russian (fortanga.org/2020/09/hamhoev-perevodchik/).
Russian law gives any defendant that right, but the court said he could speak Russian and therefore must use it, the latest abuse of the rights of an Ingush activist whom the Memorial Human Rights Organization has declared to be a political prisoner for his detention after the March 2019 protests.
Second, the Niyskho [Justice} Democratic Union of Ingushetia has denounced plans to spend more than 55 million rubles (850,000 US dollars) on the celebration of the 25oth anniversary of the inclusion of Ingushetia in Russia as unjustified given that Moscow has not been willing to recognize the genocide that officials have carried out against the Ingush (6portal.ru/posts/торжества-по-кровавым-тропам-народа-о/#more-1255).
And third, a group of prominent Ingush activists not in detention led by Magomed Mutsolgov of the Coordinating Council of NGOs of Ingushetia issued a public declaration of support for the Belarusian people in their struggle against Lukashenka and for freedom and democracy (kavkaz-uzel.eu/blogs/342/posts/45156).