Staunton, March 17 -- Six members of the Ingush Seven refused to take part in today’s session of their trial as part of their effort to reverse the decision to shift the seventh, Zarifa Sautiyeva from house arrest back to detention. She did appear to declare that their absence compromised the court’s operation.
Sautiyeva and five members of the Seven had already declared a hunger strike in protest of the regime’s handling of the only woman charged with attacking police and being part of an extremist organization. (The seventh, Malsag Uzhakhov, supports them, but his health precludes his participation in the strike.) (kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/361867/).
At today’s hearing, prosecutors demanded that the judge note in the file that the defendants were “violating the regime of a judicial hearing.” The judge in the Essentuki courtroom immediately did so, noting that those charged have a right to declare a hunger strike but that “court hearings must continue.”
Outside the building where the court session was taking place, Kavkaz uzel journalist Alena Sadovskaya was detained after she engaged in an individual picket to protest the continued holding of the Ingush Seven in a detention facility (kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/361857/ fortanga.org/2021/03/zhurnalistku-dostavili-v-policziyu-za-piket-v-podderzhku-figurantov-ingushskogo-dela/).
Two other actions related to the trial occurred today: In the first, Magomed Mutsolgov, who blogs on Ingushetia, called for those on hunger strike to end it lest the action have an adverse impact on the state of their health (kavkaz-uzel.eu/blogs/342/posts/48410).
And in the second, Izabella Yevloyeva, the founding editor of the Fortanga portal who has been forced to emigrate, staged a single-person protest in front of the Russian embassy in Prague to call for the release of the Ingush Seven. Czech police quickly forced her to move away from the diplomatic facility (fortanga.org/2021/03/v-chehii-proshel-piket-v-podderzhku-figurantov-ingushskogo-dela/