Sunday, January 2, 2022

Ingush Mullah Takes to Youtube to Denounce Ingush Seven Trial as ‘Greatest Evil of Last 30 Years’

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Nov. 12 – Now that the long-running trial of the Ingush Seven on invented charges of creating an extremist organization and attacking police is drawing to a close with prosecutors demanding seven to nine years imprisonment, a prominent Ingush mullah has taken to Youtube to denounce this judicial farce as “the greatest evil of the last 30 years.”

            Ibragim Batyrov, the imam of Malgobek’s central mosque, told his parishioners and all those who viewed his post that the Ingush Seven had done nothing wrong and should be released immediately ( and

            He directed his anger primarily at the officials of the republic, asking “why do you need this? Why do you put behind bars an Ingush woman, Zarifa Sautiyeva, and six Ingush elders?” Why do you accept as true slanderous assertions that they are “terrorists and extremists?” That isn’t true, and you know it.

            Batyrov said that the seven like thousands of others have “come out into the streets to defend the republic because they love their people and suffer for it with all their souls.”  He also criticized Magas for allowing the trial to take place in Stavropol Kray “when Ingushetia is a self-standing subject of Russia with its own constitution, flag and hymn.”

            Three things make Batyrov’s comments noteworthy. First, they are a sign that anger about the trial is growing rather than declining as Moscow clearly had hoped would be the case. Second, they show that this anger is delegitimizing the Magas regime which may face protests when the Seven are sentenced.

            And third – and this is perhaps the most important development – they show that the strategy Moscow and Magas have followed up to now, of seeking to decapitate the secular national movement, is backfiring and that religious leaders are now entering the fray giving the national movement a new injection of energy. 

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