28 May 2012, 23:00

Week in the Caucasus: review of main events of May 21-27

Contest "Eurovision-2012" in Baku was accompanied by opposition's protests; appointment of oppositionists to government of South Ossetia; sentences to figurants of terror cases in Stavropol and Tver; conflict between local residents and visiting builders in Sochi, - look these and other events in the Caucasus in the review of the week of May 21-27, 2012, prepared by the "Caucasian Knot".

Azerbaijan: "Eurovision" was accompanied by opposition's protests

Last week Baku hosted the 57th Eurovision Song Contest "Eurovision-2012", won by singer Lauryn from Sweden. The second place was taken by Russia, which was represented at the contest by the group "Buranovo Grannies", the third place went to Serbia's performer Zeljko Joksimovic. Azerbaijan, which was represented at the contest by singer Sabina Babaeva with the song "When The Music Dies", took the fourth place.

The event was accompanied by protests. On May 21, an attempt of the Civil Movement for Democracy "Public Chamber" (CMDPC) to hold a protest action with a demand of the freedom of assembly and release of convicted oppositionists turned into clashes between supporters of the opposition and the police; after which many protesters were detained. On May 24, the police prevented the action in front of the Public Television of Azerbaijan and detained about 60 oppositionists. On May 25, an action in the form of a promenade was also stopped by the police by detaining dozens of people. Human rights activists have stated the need for immediate investigation of the actions of the police in Azerbaijan.

South Ossetia: oppositionists join the government

On May 23, President of South Ossetian Leonid Tibilov signed a decree on appointment of Alla Djioeva, the ex-presidential candidate, who won the presidential election held on November 27, 2011, which was later annulled by the Supreme Court of the Republic, to the post of Deputy Prime Minister of South Ossetia.

On May 19, Aza Khabalova, one of the closest supporters of Alla Djioeva, was appointed as the Minister of Finance of South Ossetia; while Rodion Siukaev, the head of Alla Djioeva's election office, was appointed to the post state adviser on social matters. The apparatus of the government of South Ossetia is headed by Anatoly Barankevich, the former head of the Security Council. Experts believe that the new government of South Ossetia will run quite smoothly; however, they disagree on how long this smoothness may continue.

Stavropol and Tver: sentences announced on terrorism cases

On May 24, the court in the Stavropol Territory sentenced Victor Dvorakovskiy, accused of preparing a terror act and extremism, to 23 years in a high security colony. His accomplice Vladimir Skirko was sentenced to six years in a minimum security colony. After the verdict, the convicts Dvorakovskiy, who was detained on July 14, 2011, in the village of Inozemtsevo after he threw a homemade explosive device at policemen and tried to trigger the second one, and Skirko stated that they found the verdict unjust, and would appeal against it.

On May 22, under the verdict of the Tver Regional Court on charges of undermining the "Neva-Express" train in 2009, four defendants received life-long sentences, and six others were sentenced to imprisonment for 7-8 years. All of them are residents of Ingushetia. The defence has appealed against the verdict, finding it unfair.

Krasnodar region: Sochi police prevents a mass brawl

On May 26, over 250 people were taken to Sochi police stations after the conflict of the residents of the village of Chereshnya, Adler District of Sochi, with the builders from the camp, located near the village. In the conflict a policeman suffered, who received medical aid on the spot. Nobody of the participants of the conflict suffered. By the decision of the court, 55 participants of the conflict were arrested.

On May 27, at a special gathering, local residents, activists of ethnic communities and local authorities discussed the conflict. A representative of the Dagestani Cultural Centre told about an attempt to start a fight on the nationality basis. The leader of the Armenian community said that the villagers and the police had set up patrol units to monitor the situation on the daily basis and prevent any attempts of conflict. Law enforcement officials reported that the investigation of the incident is underway.

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