Friday, November 20, 2020

Magas and Moscow Fear Renewed Protests as Trial of Ingush Leaders Begins in Stavropol Kray

Paul Goble

            Staunton, November 18 – Today, in Kislovodsk, a Russian city in Stavropol Kray, the trial of the eight Ingush protest leaders who are accused of using force against officials and organizing or at least being members of an extremist organization began (

            No one expects the trial to have anything to do with justice, and some Ingush want to signal their anger about that and about the fact that the trial is taking place not in Ingushetia as the law requires but in a Russian region that few Ingush can afford to travel to especially at a time of the coronavirus pandemic.

            Yesterday, Magomed Khazbiey, an Ingush leader now in freedom, issued a call for people to come together in Magas to protest what the powers that be are doing. Ingush activists have sought permission and been refused. Immediately after Khazbiyev’s appeal appeared on line, he was summoned to the Interior Ministry’s Center for Countering Extremism.

            There he was threatened with being charged himself if he did not cease and desist, a clear indication that both Magas and Moscow are worried the trial of the leaders will restart street protests in the Republic of Ingushetia ( and

            Meanwhile, the authorities suffered a defeat of sorts in another courtroom, this time in Magas. None of the government witnesses showed up to testify against Magomed Khamkhoyev. The only witness who did show up was his father who like his son denied the charges and said they were all invented (

            And in another case, the Center for Countering Extremism demanded that Murad Bekov, the acting head of the Council of Teips of the republic sign a document acknowledging the government’s charges. He refused, and his lawyers are speaking out about this latest violation of the constitution and laws by the powers (

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