Friday, December 11, 2020

Ingush Protester has Three Questions for Putin

Paul Goble

            Staunton, December 9 – For the sixth time since his release from prison, Ingush activist Bagaudin Myakiyev staged an individual protest on the outskirts of Magas. This time, the placard he carried raised three issues he said Vladimir Putin should address in his upcoming press conference (

            First, why is the law on the rehabilitation of repressed peoples not being fully implemented? Second, why should lands taken from Ingushetia not be returned to the republic given that Russian laws were violated in the course of their seizure by others? And why can the authorities continue to hold those Ingush who have protested against these actions?

            Myakiyev said that passers-by reacted with sympathy to his poster during the 20 minutes he stood there. “Our entire people knows what this is about, although they are frightening us, now arresting the brothers of those who have already been released from jail after finishing their sentences.”

            “This is being done in order to frighten society so that all will sit quietly,” but everyone knows that the protesters did nothing wrong and that right was on their side.  That makes the approach of officials especially infuriating given that Ingush know that and also know how Russian penal authorities are engaged in illegal repression against prisoners like himself.

             Meanwhile, there were two other court hearings today outside of the republic but involving Ingush detainees. In the first, involving the Ingush Seven, prosecution witnesses again failed to show up, forcing the court to simply go through some of the 120 volumes of materials collected by investigators (

            Lawyers for the defendants said that many of the items reviewed were inadmissible, either because they had nothing to do with the charges or because they represented unsupported conclusions about guilt that investigators and prosecutors had made. Reading them into the record doesn’t change that, the lawyers added.

            One of the defense attorneys, Aralbekh Dumanishev, said that what is happening suggests that prosecutors have not done their job or even studied the documents that they are having introduced as “evidence” of the guilt of the seven defendants. Today’s hearing lasted 5.5 hours; the next session is scheduled for December 15.

            Meanwhile, in another case involving an Ingush defendant, the Supreme Court of Kabardino-Balkaria refused without explanation to release from attention Magomed-Bashir Ozdoyev, another Ingush protest leader, and allow him to await trial under house arrest (

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