Activist and journalist Isabella Yevloyeva held a solitary picket outside the Russian embassy in Prague. She stood with posters in English and Russian. According to her, with her picket she expressed her disagreement with the political repression of Ingush protest activists.
“My picket is a protest against the return of Zarifa Sautieva to the pre-trial detention facility and solidarity with my fellow activists of the Ingush Cause. They went on hunger strike because of the situation with Zarifa. I’m aware that today Russia doesn’t respect the law and international law, and I don’t count on the wow effect of my action, but as they say, do what you have to do, and what will be will be,” said the journalist.
According to her, there were few people on the street because of the measures against the coronavirus, and the picket was primarily intended for the media and Foreign Ministry officials. In addition, the activist reported that as soon as she stood outside the embassy with a poster, she was approached by a police officer who, after checking her documents, called a police squad.
“They also checked my documents, took photos of the posters and said that this was a protected facility and spontaneous actions were prohibited. In total I stood for no more than 30 minutes and had to leave”, – shares the interlocutor.
The case of the Ingush protest leaders is being considered by the Kislovodsk city court. In the dock are Akhmed Barakhoyev, Malsag Uzhakhov, Musa Malsagov, Ismail Nalgiyev, Barakh Chemurziyev, Bagaudin Khautiyev and Zarifa Sautieva. The latter was released under house arrest on 10 March, but the prosecutor appealed the decision in the Stavropol Territorial Court and the activist was returned to custody. Earlier, on February 26, former Interior Minister Akhmed Pogorov, who has been on the federal wanted list since April 2019, was detained in this case.
Rallies against the agreement on new borders with Chechnya were held in Ingushetia in 2018. In March 2019, protesters demanded the resignation of Ingushetia’s head Yevkurov and the return of direct elections, but the protest was suppressed by security forces. As a result of the action, 48 criminal cases were initiated under the article on violence against representatives of authorities. The case of the protest leaders was separated into separate proceedings. They are charged with organizing violence against representatives of the authorities, creation and participation in an extremist community. Memorial* called the case politically motivated and recognized several leaders and protesters as political prisoners.
* – the organization was included in the register of NGOs performing the functions of a foreign agent by the decision of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation