Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Russian Court Extends Detention of Ingush Seven to November 9

Paul Goble

            Staunton, July 21 – The Kislovodsk court agreed to prosecutors’ demands and extended the detention of the Ingush Seven until November 9 by which time the trial itself will have lasted a year and most of the accused will have been kept behind bars for more than two years (fortanga.org/2021/07/sud-prodlil-arest-lideram-ingushskogo-protesta-do-noyabrya/).

            This took place over the objections of the defense which pointed out that prosecutors had had more than enough time to develop the case. The defense suffered yet another loss when the judge in the case refused to accept as witnesses other Ingush who had been convicted of minor crimes for their role in the March 2019 protests (kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/366270/).

            The judge’s decision, the defense attorneys said, means that important parts of the record will not be filled in as only those who were among the crowd of demonstrators have direct knowledge of what the Ingush Seven did or did not do at the time. The court did hear the testimony of the last witness for the prosecution.

            There were two other important Ingush developments this week. In the first, Askhab Goygov, who coordinated the preparation of the 900-page work of the Council of Teips on the border issue, says that the commission is continuing its work and will soon issue its full report as a single monograph (fortanga.org/2021/07/ashab-gojgov-nasha-czel-vosstanovlenie-zakonnosti-i-istoricheskoj-spravedlivosti/).

            He said that the 28 volunteers who have been working on the report from the beginning are coming up with new information on a daily basis and want to ensure that the Ingush people know the full story about why the border is where it is and how the actions of Yunus-Bek Yevkurov and Ramzan Kadryov violated that border with their 2019 behind-the-scenes agreement.

            And in the second, an exhibit, The Ingush Case. A Protest about Dignity,” opened in Moscow with an online conference in which numerous Ingush activists took part and insisted that the ongoing hearings of the Ingush Seven are nothing but “a show trial” and that the powers that be are trying to put the entire Ingush people on trial (fortanga.org/2021/07/v-licze-liderov-protesta-nakazan-ves-ingushskij-narod-organizatory-vystavki-o-mitingovom-dele/).

            Ingush speakers bemoaned the fact that people in other regions often do not see people from the North Caucasus as compatriots. For so many of them, “the North Caucasus was and remains almost ‘a foreign country,’ whose problems do not concern them,” one of the speakers said.

            This is the third such exhibition on the Ingush protests. The first was in November 202 in St. Petersburg and the second was at Moscow’s Sakharov Center.

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