Staunton, June 16 – At today’s hearing in Essentuki of the cases against the Ingush Seven, Kureysh Sapraliyev, head of the public security administration of the Ingush ministry of internal affairs, and six imams testified that the Ingush Seven had not engaged in extremist actions or encouraged anyone to attack the police, thus undercutting the charges against them.
Aralbek Dumanishev, one of the attorneys for the Seven, said that this was only the latest example of what has been happening in the courtroom. Neither prosecution witnesses nor documents nor defense witnesses support the government’s charges, and prosecutors have compensated in two ways.
On the one hand, he says, they have simply asserted that the Ingush Seven are all guilty because they have been charged and thus must be so. And on the other, prosecutors have engaged in provocative questions either to trap witnesses or to get them to talk about unrelated issues (fortanga.org/2021/06/predstaviteli-duhovenstva-vystupili-v-sude-po-delu-liderov-ingushskogo-protesta/ and kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/365026/).
Today, prosecutors sought to get the imams to admit that they have organized shariat courts in order to prevent Russian courts from having jurisdiction in the republic. The imams denied that the shariat courts had more than an advisory role but defense lawyers noted that the entire issue has no relevance to the current case.
Some 20 Ingush came from the republic to the Russian city to attend the hearing and show their support for the defendants. They also raised the issue of the health of the Seven and that of the only woman among them, Zarifa Sautiyeva. Her health was shaky before her detention and it has been made worse as a result of being moved back and forth by her jailors.
Meanwhile, in another Ingush development which may shed light on practices elsewhere in Russia, instructors at the State University of Ingushetia report that almost all of them are on one-year contracts and thus can be dismissed almost at will be their bosses (caucasustimes.com/ru/okolo-150-sotrudnikov-gosuniversiteta-ingushetii-okazalis-pod-ugrozoj-uvolnenija/).
As a result, most are afraid to speak out against the regime lest they be fired. When the university was queried, officials said that such arrangements are now the norm for universities throughout the Russian Federation.
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