The Stavropol Regional Court satisfied the appeal of the Prosecutor General’s Office for the North Caucasus Federal District and returned one of the Ingush protest leaders to custody. Following this decision, the defendants went on hunger strike and refused to participate further in the process.

“Earlier, the Prosecutor General’s Office for the North Caucasus Federal District sent an appeal to the court to return Zarifa Sautieva, placed under house arrest, to the pre-trial detention facility. At today’s trial, this appeal submission was satisfied by the Stavropol regional court, and the defendant was transferred to the pre-trial detention facility,” lawyer Bilan Dzugaev told Fortanga.

He noted that earlier the regional court refused to reconsider the proceedings on the issue of restraint on the complaint filed by the defense, but considered the appeal submission of the Prosecutor General’s Office for the North Caucasus Federal District.

“The Stavropol Court previously refused to consider our appeal against the measure of restraint, citing the fact that the measure of restraint had already been selected. The court was supposed to deal with the prosecutor’s demand in the same way, but the result was the opposite. It shows a clear bias,” the lawyer said.

According to him, Zarifa Sautieva, according to the court decision, will be kept in the detention center until May 9.

Following the court’s decision to return Sautieva to the pre-trial detention facility, the leaders of the Ingush protest went on hunger strike. “The protest leaders went on hunger strike and refused to take further part in the process,” Bilan Dzugaev wrote on his Facebook page.

As a reminder, Zarifa Sautieva was placed under house arrest on March 10, 2021, but the next day the office of the Prosecutor General of Russia in the North Caucasus Federal District demanded that she be returned to the SIZO. A complaint to that effect was filed with the Stavropol Territorial Court.

The lawyer Magomed Bekov reported that the owner of the apartment, with whom Sautieva had a contract of residence for the period of house arrest, received a phone call from an unknown person and demanded to open the door. The woman did not open the door, after which the unknown person called the intercom, repeated his request and said that he would describe the details of the conversation in person. The lawyer considered this to be pressure on the landlady to “terminate the contract and this would be an excuse to return Zarifa to her cell.”

Sautieva was arrested on July 12, 2019, on charges of organizing violence against authorities and participating in an extremist community. The Human Rights Center “Memorial “* recognized her as a political prisoner.

Rallies against the Ingushetia-Chechnya border agreement have been held in Magas since autumn 2018. In March 2019, they turned into clashes with security forces and detentions of activists. A total of 46 people were arrested and about 30 people received real sentences on charges of violence against government officials. Seven protest leaders are in the dock, including. On 26 February, Ahmed Pahorov, a person involved in the rally case, was detained. As a result of yesterday’s court session, more than 25 witnesses spoke in favor of the Ingush protest leaders.

* – 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

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