Staunton, March 13 – Three days ago, an Essentuki judge granted the request by lawyers for Ingush opposition leader Zarifa Sautiyeva to be released from the pre-trial detention center to house arrest in an apartment in that city (windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2021/03/essentuki-court-allows-only-woman-among.html).
Immediately, prosecutors objected and filed an appeal to have her returned to the detention center. They said that the judge’s decision was premature and that Sautiyeva, the only woman among the Ingush Seven, might seek to influence witnesses or even prove to be a flight risk (kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/361665/).
The appellate court has not yet ruled, but the powers there have adopted another tact to try to force Sautiyeva back behind bars. Anonymous callers and visitors have told the owner of the Essentuki apartment, who is allowing the activist to stay, that he has made a mistake in doing so (fortanga.org/2021/03/na-sobstvenniczu-kvartiry-v-kotoroj-prozhivaet-zarifa-sautieva-na-vremya-domashnego-aresta-okazyvaetsya-davlenie/ and kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/361726/).
The implicit threat of reprisal is all too real: the powers that be not just in Ingushetia but across the North Caucasus are quite prepared to get their way by threats even if the nominal authorities at least on occasion do the right thing and respect the rights of individuals the authorities don’t like.