15 September 2018, 08:26

Call to protest causes fear in residents of Chechnya

An anonymous call to go out to protest in Grozny on one of the last days of this week was disseminated among social network users in Chechnya on September 13 and 14. The author of the appeal invited residents of Chechnya to protest against the unfair, in his opinion, sentence to 14 residents of the Kurchaloi District.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on September 12, residents of Chechnya reported severe sentences awarded to 14 young people convicted for terrorism. In the video posted on the WhatsApp and made near the courthouse, convicts' relatives and friends express their indignation at the verdicts: women are weeping, and men run after the paddy wagon driving out the yard of the courthouse, knocking on the body thereof. The convicts' family members had believed the promises of law enforcers and refrained from making the case public in hope for lenient sentences, convicts' relatives told the "Caucasian Knot".

The residents of Chechnya, interviewed by the "Caucasian Knot", did not rule out that the call to go to the rally in Grozny could be a provocation staged by law enforcers. They also felt that a very small number of people would respond to the call.

"People, even if they come, will be very few. <...> At the very best, [they] will be dispersed, and at the worst, they [will be charged] with an attempt to forcefully change the ruling power," Alizhan, a resident of Grozny, told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.

The rally in no way will help to mitigate the fate of convicted young people from the Kurchaloi District, said Umar, an employee of one of the republic's state agencies.

"I don't believe that this rally will take place. Our society is now completely disoriented; it has become apolitical; everyone is solely concerned with one's own problems," Umar told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.

The message with an appeal to go to the rally may be an authorities' provocation; they intend to identify dissenters and defiantly punish them, Zayndi, another Grozny resident, has suggested.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on September 14, 2018 at 09:16 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Source: CK correspondent

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