Participants of rally in support of Ruslan Gvashev, Sukhumi, September 27, 2017. Photo by Dmitri Stateinov for the Caucasian Knot.

27 September 2017, 22:01

Sukhumi rally calls on Putin to protect Gvashev's rights

About 300 participants of a rally in Sukhumi have appealed to Russian and Abkhaz presidents asking them to save the life of Ruslan Gvashev and provide the Black Sea Adygs-Shapsugs with the right to hold their memorial prayers at the Tulip Tree.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that starting September 11, Ruslan Gvashev, 67, a former chairman of the Council of Elders of Circassians-Shapsugs, is holding an unlimited hunger strike in protest of the judgement to fine him for a prayer he administered at the Tulip Tree.

On June 2, the Lazarevskoe District Court of Sochi found Ruslan Gvashev, the former chairman of the Council of Elders of Circassians-Shapsugs, guilty of organizing an unsanctioned action on the Day of Adygs' Memory – a prayer service near the Tulip Tree, and fined him by 10,000 roubles.

The rally held in the Glory Park, near the Military Glory Museum named after Vladislav Ardzinba in Sukhumi, gathered people of different ages – young and elderly ones. The security was ensured by several employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA); the rally passed without incidents, the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent reports.

The participants put signatures to the appeal addressed to the presidents of Russia and Abkhazia, Vladimir Putin and Raul Khajimba, stating that Abkhaz activists are "concerned about the events that occurred after the memorial prayer in the village of Golovinka, Lazarevskoye District of Sochi."

"We ask you to take all measures to protect the legitimate interests of the Black Sea Adygs-Shapsugs and ensure their right to hold annual memorial events on May 21. We ask you to save the life of the great patriot of Abkhazia and Russia Gvashev, Ruslan Indrisovich. The critical state of his health demands an immediate response,” says the appeal.

The appeal was signed by 300 participants of the rally; however, the collection of signatures will continue, the organizers of the rally told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.

Full text of the article is available on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’.

Author: Dmitri Stateinov, Anna Gritsevich; Source: CK correspondents

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