Thursday, August 19, 2021

Ingush Constitutional Court Chief and Yabloko Candidate for Duma Promises to Seek Release of All Political Prisoners in the Republic

Paul Goble

            Staunton, August 15 – Ayup Gagiyev, chairman of the Ingush Constitutional Court that ruled against the land deal with Chechnya and that Moscow would like to close down and currently a Yabloko candidate for the Russian State Duma, says he will do everything he can to free the Ingush Seven and all other Ingush political prisoners.

            In a speech to the elders of the republic, an informal body of the leaders of the teips, Gagiyev added that he backs the findings of the Council of Teips report on the controversial land deal and wants to see its results published in a book so that all Ingush can read them (

            He said that he will do everything he can “within the limits of the law” so that the Ingush Seven and other political prisoners in the republic can achieve justice and go free

            Meanwhile, lawyers for Mufi Isa Khamkhoyev have filed an appeal with the European Human Rights Court in Strasbourg, arguing that the fine imposed on him for holding a meeting violated Russian law and was an act of political intimidation intended to push him and his supporters out of public life (

            These two developments, Gagiyev’s focus on the teips and Khamkoyev’s case, highlight something that is often ignored. In many places where the normal forms of civil society are weak or under attack, traditional clan and religious groups are playing the roles no one else is able to play.

            They thus invite attention as a clear expansion of what civil society means in such transitional societies; and their work in Ingushetia is an object lesson of how much they can do that some observers assume is impossible because the powers that be have shut down the traditional NGO networks.


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