Aza Korigova, an Ingush resident of Moscow, submitted a notice to hold a rally to overturn the conviction of seven protest leaders in Magas.
The event is scheduled for January 12 on Sakharov Avenue. “First of all, I would like to see people from the Caucasus, from Ingushetia, there. A rally is a legitimate way to show your dissent. I’m convinced that all bad things happen with the silent consent of society. If society doesn’t react and only expresses its dissent in a small circle, it’s a very convenient society for the authorities,” Aza Korigova told Fortanga.
In her opinion, residents of other regions know very little about the “Ingush case” and the situation with border changes between Ingushetia and Chechnya. “Usually it’s (known) to those who know the Ingush personally, or representatives of the opposition,” Korigova explained.
The activist plans to invite human rights activists, media personalities, and bloggers to the rally, “to give maximum publicity to this monstrous verdict.
Aza Korigova said that the notice in the Central Administrative District prefecture, which she submitted on December 30, was accepted as quickly as possible and without problems. “Everyone is so polite! It took ten minutes all together. I didn’t even expect it. I was mentally prepared that there would be nagging at every number,” she said.
According to Aza Korigova, the application was filed for 2,000 participants, but she expects that the number of people may come less. “These arrests and deadlines have made people cautious. And a lot of people don’t believe that anything can be achieved by a rally or a picket,” she said.
The Ingush protests did not lead to a deratization of the agreement on border changes, but they did bring about a change of power in the republic, says the activist.
However, she does not rule out that the rally may be banned, citing the sanitary-epidemiological situation in Moscow. According to Aza Korigova, the application was filed so that “the authorities could see that the people’s protest mood hadn’t gone anywhere.
She also assumes that provocateurs may appear at the rally, who will try to induce the protesters to take illegal actions and slander the protest.
Aza Korigova said she was “just a concerned citizen. “My conscience does not allow me to be silent. Especially when I see old people and a girl behind bars, whose only fault is that they love their land and wanted everything according to the law of the country in which they live. But the irony is that they called on everyone to obey the law, and the ‘law’ punished them,” she explained.
She also said that she had been following the protest movement in Ingushetia for all three years, and her mother had been at the square in Magas for all fourteen days of the rally in October 2018, as well as in March 2019.
She is particularly concerned about the transfer of parts of Sunzhensky district to Chechnya because that is where some of her ancestral land is located. “It so happens that the land that Evkurov handed over to the Chechen Republic is the land of my family. We are Ingush from the Ingush Orstkhoi Society, we speak the Ingush language. Our ancestral lands, crypts and graves are there. So for me it was all very acute and painful, really hurt by the injustice,” she explained. According to her, the authorities are currently provoking a speculative discussion that the residents of the area are ethnic Chechens. Its goal is to legitimize the transfer of Ingush land to Chechnya.
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, most of them receiving real sentences on charges of violence against authorities. Akhmed Barakhoev, Musa Malsagov, Ismail Nalgiev, Zarifa Sautieva, Malsag Uzhakhov, Bagaudin Khautiev and Barakh Chemurziev, also detained in the rally case, were charged with extremism. On December 15, the Kislovodsk city court sentenced them to terms from 7.5 to 9 years in prison.