A collective namaz (prayer) under the open sky in Maikop on June 15, 2018. Photo courtesy of Eldar Cheuzh

18 June 2018, 09:10

Week in the Caucasus: review of main events of June 11-17, 2018

Celebration of end of Ramadan fasting by Muslims of the Caucasus; resignation of Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili, – see the review of these and other events in the Caucasus during the week of June 11-17, 2018, prepared by the "Caucasian Knot".

Muslims of Caucasus celebrate the end of Ramadan fasting

On June 15, Muslims began to celebrate one of their main holidays Eid al-Fitr, the end of the holy month of Ramadan. After a festive prayer, Muslims visit their relatives and arrange tables with food for friends. They also visit graves of their deceased relatives. Azerbaijan announced five days off on the occasion of the holiday. The republics of Northern Caucasus also declared June 15 to be a day off. In Maikop, the Muftiate decided to hold the holiday prayer in the square in front of the mosque because of the large number of participants. At least 2000 people took part in the prayer. The namaz (prayer) under the open sky attracted the attention of tourists. Residents of Chechnya did not learn the date of the Eid al-Fitr celebration until the evening on June 14, when it was announced by the Muftiate of the Chechen Republic. Chechen residents complained about the uncertainty in the celebration date and the rise in food prices. In Dagestan, local residents also noted the rise in prices on the eve of the holiday. In Makhachkala, participants in collective prayer listened to the sermon, which touched such topics as brotherhood and good relations between Muslims.

Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili resigns

On June 13, Giorgi Kvirikashvili announced his resignation. He explained his decision by disagreements with Bidzina Ivanishvili, the leader of the ruling "Georgian Dream" Party. On June 14, the ruling party declared Finance Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze to become the chair of the Georgian government. The "Georgian Dream" and Bidzina Ivanishvili entrusted Mamuka Bakhtadze with the duty to correct the economic situation in the country. The fact that the name of the Finance Minister was not very often mentioned in public became an advantage, since local people had not yet formed an opinion about him, believe political analysts interviewed by the "Caucasian Knot". Besides, according to the experts, the mass protest actions that took place in the country since late May, provoked the Giorgi Kvirikashvili's resignation and could even be the main cause for his leaving. In the course of the above protest actions, protestors also voiced the demands for the resignation of Giorgi Kvirikashvili.

Eleven people killed in a catamaran accident near Volgograd

At night on June 12, a catamaran and a barge collided on the Volga in the Volgograd Region. Five passengers of the catamaran were rescued, while eleven other people were killed. Policemen with their family members were on board of the catamaran. The death toll includes Dmitry Khakhalev, an owner of the catamaran, the former head of the Kalachyovsky District, a minor girl and three other men and six women. According to investigators, the captain of the catamaran was in the state of alcoholic intoxication, and the catamaran itself was not registered. An owner of the boat station, from which the catamaran put off, was arrested. Meanwhile, he pleads not guilty.

Moscow hosts a play about rights defender Oyub Titiev, arrested in Grozny

On June 13, the Moscow office of the Human Rights Centre (HRC) "Memorial" hosted a premiere of the "Oyub" play, prepared by Theatre.doc and dedicated to Oyub Titiev, the head of the HRC "Memorial" in Grozny, arrested on January 11 on the charge of possession of marijuana. After the performance, law enforcers forced spectators out of the HRC "Memorial" office under the pretext of checking a report about a bomb. The information about the bomb was not confirmed. The performance was approved by colleagues of the rights defender. They believe it will cause resonance in public opinion in Russia and abroad. It should be noted that on June 14, the EU Parliament adopted a resolution requesting to free Oyub Titiev from the charges.

In Sukhumi, Rostov-on-Don, and Cherkessk, courts render verdicts in resonant cases

In Sukhumi, Rostov-on-Don, and Cherkessk, the trials on the cases which caused a resonance in the society were completed by verdicts of guilty.

On June 12, the Supreme Court (SC) of Abkhazia found brothers Adgur and Daur Djindjoliya guilty of killing Andrei Kabanov, a tourist from Russia, and sentenced each of them to 18 years of imprisonment. The tourist was killed as a result of an armed attack on a group of tourists in the Gudauta District in July 2017. The murder of the tourist seriously affected the tourist industry: people who bought trips to Abkhazia refused their plans to travel there.

On June 14, in Rostov-on-Don, the North-Caucasian District Military Court found Badruddi Daudov, a native of Chechnya, guilty of participation in an attack on Budyonnovsk in 1995 and sentenced him to 14 years of imprisonment. The Court did not take into account the Alibi Daudov's alibi, his relatives said.

On June 15, in Cherkessk, the court found Ruslan Rakhaev, the deputy head for the Cherkessk Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA), guilty of beating a detainee to death and sentenced him to nine years of imprisonment. According to investigators, on October 7, 2011, Ruslan Rakhaev beat Dakhir Djankezov to death. According to the defence, Dakhir Djankezov was beaten before he was brought to the Ruslan Rakhaev's office. Experts came to the conclusion that detained Dakhir Djankezov got his fatal injuries when he was kept at a police station.

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