Ruslan Gvashev (on the right). Photo: RFE/RL

18 October 2017, 16:31

Ruslan Gvashev refuses to pay his fine for prayer voluntarily

Circassian activist Ruslan Gvashev has declared he is willing to pay a fine for praying at the Tulip Tree only if it is required for filing a complaint to the European Court of Human Right (ECtHR). The refusal to pay a fine can lead to the arrest of the activist, believes his advocates.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on October 16, the Krasnodar Territorial Court upheld the fine imposed on Ruslan Gvashev, the former head of the Circassian-Shapsug Council of Elders, for a prayer at the Tulip Tree. Starting from October 5, Ruslan Gvashev is stopping his hunger strike. He will continue to fight for his rights.

The activist has specified that he will pay the fine only in case if it is necessary for filing a complaint to the ECtHR.

Ruslan Gvashev associates his persecution with the fact that the authorities are afraid of creation of a religious organization to unite all Circassians of Russia and the world to "get out of control."

Ruslan Gvashev has noted that the authorities of the Krasnodar Territory did not recognize the Shapsugs as indigenous people.

Advocate Marina Dubrovina has emphasizes she categorically opposes her client paying a fine.

Meanwhile, she believes that the courts in the Krasnodar Territory violated the Ruslan Gvashev's constitutional rights to freedom of religion.

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

Author: Anna Gritsevich; Source: CK correspondent

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