Staunton, March 2 – At the latest session of the trial of the Ingush Seven, witnesses from among the Russian Guard continued the trend among those speaking for the prosecution and denied that they had seen any of those being tried, according to lawyers for the defense (fortanga.org/2021/03/zashhita-liderov-ingushskogo-protesta-zayavila-o-protivorechivosti-pokazanij-poterpevshego/ and kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/361354/).
Nonetheless, the lawyers and most observers expect the Essentuki court to return a guilty verdict against all seven, the only question being open is how long the sentences will be and whether they might be suspended. The judges continue to allow prosecutors to read into the record materials that have no relevance to the charges.
Meanwhile, in another case, prosecutors have brought new charges against Bagaudin Myakiyev for supposedly destroying government property while he was incarcerated for his participation in the March 2019 protests. They have provided no evidence of this, his lawyers say, an indication that it is a form of harassment because he continues to speak out in defense of other Ingush now incarcerated (fortanga.org/2021/03/bagaudin-myakiev-stal-figurantom-eshhe-odnogo-ugolovnogo-dela/ and kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/361335/).
And in a third case, that of Akhmed Pogorov, who was finally arrested after being on wanted lists for almost two years, his lawyers said that he appears to be being treated fairly in the detention center although they repeated that there is no evidence for the charges against him (fortanga.org/2021/03/advokat-pogorova-rasskazal-ob-usloviyah-soderzhaniya-podzashhitnogo-v-sizo/).
Commenting on Pogorov’s arrest, human rights activist Ruslan Mustsolgov said that it was “the height of injustice,” that he is being subject to illegal and unconstitutional repression, and that his arrest has sent public trust in Ingush and Russian officials plummeting to new lows. They now lost support among “all strata of the population.”
And in another development that will do nothing to reverse such feelings, Ingush officials announced that they have installed round-the-clock video cameras in key public places in Magas, the capital of Ingushetia, so that they will be able to track all movement in the new capital (bakdar.org/v-stolice-ingushetii-ustanavlivayut-kamery-kruglosutochnogo-videonablyudeniya/).
They said that this was necessary to fight crime, but most Ingush will conclude that it is yet another sign that those in power want to be able to repress the population which isn’t.
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