The European Court of Human Rights has accepted for consideration the complaint of 13 former members of the Ingushetia Ministry of Internal Affairs’ PPS who lost their jobs after refusing to disperse protesters in March 2019, Kavkaz.Realii* reports.
“The complaint was filed on the violation of the right to freedom of peaceful assembly in conjunction with the freedom of expression and the prohibition of persecution for political reasons, as well as violation of property rights, as the police lost their job,” – said lawyer Olga Gnezdilova.
She explained that the riot police had no orders to disperse the peaceful rally, and that the OMON riot police were brought to the republic for this purpose. “Police officers wanted to prevent bloodshed and talk to the organizers, but after two minutes they were ordered to disperse, which they did, so as not to inflame the situation,” she said.
The dismissed policemen claim to have stayed in this silent line for a mere two minutes, trying to prevent clashes between the Rosgvardiya guards and the protesters, who were led by elderly Ingush. The security forces explained to the elders the possible consequences, including a forceful dispersal of the protest, and asked them to calm the young people down – after this conversation, the gathering dispersed.
This is not the first complaint to the ECHR about the “Ingush case,” the lawyer said. Those accused of organizing the use of violence against the security forces insist that the protests were peaceful until the riot police began to storm in. The officers of the PPPs reiterate this position.
“There was a need for civilized negotiations, not a dispersal, as a result of which both sides suffered, 218 activists were detained administratively, 26 were criminally charged,” said lawyer Gnezdilova.
We shall remind you that the reason for the dismissal of 13 employees of the Interior Ministry was “committing a misdemeanour defaming their honour”. Moreover, a criminal case was brought against them for failure to carry out an order (part 2 of Article 286.1 of the Criminal Code). They tried to seek reinstatement. In July, the Fifth Court of Cassation in Pyatigorsk rejected the motions of the defense, which asked for their jobs back and for payment of wages for the period of enforced absence.
On March 26-27, 2019, large-scale protests took place in Magas. The participants demanded that the border agreement between Ingushetia and Chechnya, as a result of which the former republic had lost part of its territory, be revoked. In addition, they called for the resignation of the then head of Ingushetia Yunus-Bek Evkurov and the introduction of direct elections.
They had to bring in security forces from other regions to disperse the rally. The clashes were followed by a series of arrests. The protesters were prosecuted for violence against government officials, with more than 40 people involved.
*A fragment of a message created and disseminated by a foreign media outlet performing the functions of a foreign agent.