20 July 2015, 08:45

Week in the Caucasus: review of main events of July 13-19

Celebration of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr; a guilty verdict in the BORN case to Goryachev; anniversary of the murder of Natalya Estemirova, – see the review of these and other events in the Caucasus during the week of July 13-19, 2015, prepared by the "Caucasian Knot".

The Muslims of Southern and Northern Caucasus mark Eid al-Fitr

The holiday of Eid al-Fitr, which ends the fasting month of Ramadan (Ramazan), was celebrated by most of Russian Muslims on July 17. In Dagestan and Chechnya, July 18 was announced to be the first day of the end-of-fasting holiday. In five regions of the North-Caucasian Federal District (NCFD) out of seven, namely, in Kabardino-Balkaria, Karachay-Cherkessia, Chechnya, Ingushetia and North Ossetia, as well as in Adygea, the first days of the celebration of Eid al-Fitr were announced to be days-off.

The Muslims of Karachay-Cherkessia marked the end of fasting with prayers; Ingushetia held fireworks in honour of the holiday; and in Nalchik local women treated Syrian Circassians with meals of the Adyg cuisine. On July 17 in Moscow, over 160,000 people celebrated the Eid al-Fitr.

On the eve of the holiday, Muslims paid the religious tax – the Zakat-ul-Fitr. This year, it was established within 25-380 roubles; the highest Zakat was paid by parishioners of Salafi mosques in Dagestan.

Jurymen pass guilty verdict to Ilya Goryachev

On July 14, the Moscow City Court found Ilya Goryachev, the founder of the "Combat Organization of Russian Nationalists" (known as BORN), recognized as an extremist community, guilty on all the indictment points, including ethnically-motivated killings. On July 15, the prosecutor asked to sentence him to life imprisonment.

Earlier, the advocates said that Goryachev could not be convicted on the basis of the evidence presented at the trial. The defendant himself expressed regret over the deaths of the people who, according to investigators, were killed on his orders.

Exhibition on human rights opened on anniversary of Estemirova's murder

July 15 marked six years since the death of Natalia Estemirova, an employee of the Human Rights Centre (HRC) "Memorial", who on that day in 2009 was abducted by unidentified assailants in Grozny, taken out to Ingushetia and killed there. In Moscow, by that date, the HRC "Memorial" opened an exhibition "The Never-Ending Story: Violence and Impunity in Northern Caucasus", within a roundtable was held, where rights defenders discussed the situation with kidnappings and acts of torture. In a number of European cities, namely, in Moscow, Berlin, Amsterdam, Helsinki, Luxembourg, Madrid and Rome, the Amnesty International held actions, during which calls were voiced out to investigators to do everything possible to solve the murder.

Two persons accused of terror act in Pyatigorsk sentenced to life imprisonment

On July 14, the North-Caucasian District Military Court passed its verdict to six defendants in the case on the terror act committed in front of the building of the GIBDD (traffic police) in the city of Pyatigorsk on December 27, 2013, which killed three occasional passers-by. The convicts – natives of Azerbaijan, Stavropol Territory and Dagestan, named Murad Ataev, Ramazan and Vladimir Khalizov, Shamil Abdulazizov, Shamil Gazimagomedov and Magomed Ibragimov, who, according to investigators, were members of the "Imarat Kavkaz" grouping, were sentenced to terms ranging from 17 years to life-long imprisonment. Their advocates announced their intention to appeal against the verdict, stating that at the trial no sufficient evidence was presented to prove the guilt of their clients.

12th Film Festival "Golden Apricot" in Yerevan was dedicated to 100th anniversary of Armenian Genocide

Yerevan has hosted the 12th International Film Festival "Golden Apricot". This year, the cultural event was dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire. The festival received over 1600 applications from 103 countries. On July 19, winners were announced: in the nomination of "Foreign Feature Films", the film by the Colombian filmmaker Siro Gera "The Snake's Embrace".

Court entrusts Zirinov's case to jury

On July 15, the North-Caucasian District Military Court in Rostov-on-Don began considering the case of Sergey Zirinov, an ex-deputy of the Legislative Assembly of the Krasnodar Territory, who is accused, along with his five accomplices, of the murders of Vitaly Sadovnichiy, the director of the Anapa sanatorium, and his wife; and the businessman from Novorossiysk Salman Nabiev, as well as of the murder attempt on Nikolai Nesterenko, the Deputy Ataman of the Anapa Cossack Army, in which his driver was killed. Zirinov refuses to plead guilty. The court granted the motion of Zirinov's defence to hold the trial with participation of the jury.

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