Staunton, Sept. 25 – Video clips and testimony offered this week by the defense effectively demolish the government’s twin charges against the Ingush Seven. The evidence shows that they did not form an extremist organization and did not promote attacks on siloviki. Rather, these two kinds of evidence show that the leaders did just the reverse.
They were a moderating influence among the Ingush protesters and they sought to restrain those who were so angry at what officials had done with the border agreement with Chechnya that they were prepared to take more radical action (fortanga.org/2021/09/video-s-osennego-mitinga-v-magase-stalo-argumentom-v-polzu-nevinovnosti-malsaga-uzhahova/, fortanga.org/2021/09/svidetel-soobshhil-o-prekrashhenii-deyatelnosti-opory-ingushetii-posle-aresta-baraha-chemurzieva/, fortanga.org/2021/09/svidetel-ugovory-ingushskih-starejshin-pomogli-uspokoit-molodezh-na-mitinge/ and kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/368389/).
But sentences being handed out in related cases suggest that the powers that be will not be dissuaded from convicting the Ingush Seven, a trend that is intensifying tensions between Ingush society which appears to be largely on the side of the defendants and the government in Magas (fortanga.org/2021/09/murad-gorbakov-osuzhden-po-delu-o-mitinge-v-magase/).
Just how angry many Ingush are about what the republic government has been doing was signaled by the decision of three deputies to refuse to accept certificates from the powers that be on the completion of their service as deputies in the republic’s Popular Assembly. They said their refusal was about the land deal with Chechnya (fortanga.org/2021/09/tri-deputata-otkazalis-ot-gramot-kalimatova-v-znak-protesta/).
As popular anger has increased, the authorities have stepped up their harassment of any Ingush who can be viewed as an opposition figure including bloggers who posted articles suggesting the recent elections were anything but free and fair (fortanga.org/2021/09/ingushskij-bloger-soobshhil-ob-ugrozah-posle-publikaczii-foto-s-izbiratelnogo-uchastka/).