04 November 2019, 15:52

Week in the Caucasus: review of main events of October 28-November 3, 2019

Recognition by the US of the Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire; events in memory of victims of political repressions in Southern Russia; assassination of a top-ranking Ingush police officer in Moscow, – see the review of these and other events in the Caucasus during the week of October 28-November 3, 2019, prepared by the "Caucasian Knot".

Verdict of guilty to Abdusamad Gamidov, former chairman of Dagestani government

On October 28, in Moscow, the court pronounced a decision in a case against Abdusamad Gamidov, the former Prime Minister of Dagestan, and his deputy Rayudin Yusufov, accused of involvement in the theft of 41 million roubles during the construction of a special temporary detention facility for foreigners. The court sentenced Abdusamad Gamidov to 6.5 years of imprisonment and Rayudin Yusufov  to 5.5 years of imprisonment. The defence of Abdusamad Gamidov and Rayudin Yusufov claims that their guilt is not proven. The sentence to the former officials did not provoke a resonance in Dagestan, since residents of the republic do not fully trust him, reports Gadjimurat Sagitov, the editor-in-chief of the weekly "Novoye Delo" (New Clause).

Recognition by US of Armenian Genocide in Ottoman Empire

On October 29, members of the US House of Representatives voted in favour of the resolution on the recognition of the Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire in 1915-1917. The resolution states that the US House of Representatives rejects "efforts to enlist, engage or otherwise associate the United States government with denial of the Armenian Genocide or any other genocide." Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan considered the resolution of the US House of Representatives as a historic event, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) of Armenia called it "an important contribution to the prevention of new genocides." The United States recognized the Armenian Genocide in order to strengthen the country's influence in the Middle East amid the Turkish military operation in Syria, suggested political analysts and journalists interviewed by the "Caucasian Knot".

Hospitalization of Azerbaijani human rights defender Ogtai Gyulyalyev after a road traffic accident

On October 29, in Baku, Ogtai Gyulyalyev, the coordinator of the Committee against Repression and Torture, was hit by a car after a press conference at which he outlined a plan for a campaign against torture. A car driver hit Ogtai Gyulyalyev at a pedestrian crossing, reported a son of the human rights defender. Ogtai Gyulyalyev underwent surgery, and he is in a coma. Azerbaijani oppositionists, human rights defenders, and lawyers suggested that Ogtai Gyulyalyev was hit by a car intentionally. The Human Rights House Foundation called on the Azerbaijani authorities to conduct a transparent investigation into the circumstances of the road traffic accident. Ogtai Gyulyalyev fights for the release of unjustly sentenced persons and dissenters in Azerbaijan, and he was repeatedly persecuted for his human rights activities.

Events in memory of victims of political repressions in Southern Russia

On October 30, in various regions of Russia, including in the south of the country, actions were held to pay tribute to the memory of the people who fell victim to repressions. During the years of Stalinist repressions, people were arrested for any careless word or deed, and their relatives are still not aware of the fate of many of them, participants of a memorial action in Volgograd said. They noted that no repression should be repeated in Russia. In Nalchik, participants of a rally condemned persecution of activists in modern Russia. In Makhachkala, activists called on residents of the republic to help with the study of archival materials about victims of the repressions. In Sochi, people remembered the victims of the repressions, murdered politician Boris Nemtsov, journalist Anna Politkovskaya, as well as those who are imprisoned for their beliefs.

On October 30, in Moscow, the Human Rights Centre (HRC) "Memorial" organized a roundtable about political prisoners in Russia in 2019. The intensification of persecution is observed throughout the country as a whole and in Southern Russia in particular, the human rights defenders note. They mentioned as an example cases against Ingush activists and a case against Anastasia Shevchenko, a resident of Rostov-on-Don.

Assassination of a top-ranking Ingush police officer in Moscow

On November 2, in Moscow, Ibragim Eldjarkiev, the chief of the Ingush Centre for Combating Extremism (CCE), was shot dead. His brother Akhmed Eldjarkiev was also killed. Investigators suggest that the murder could be motivated by the revenge related to the official activities of Ibragim Eldjarkiev. The murder may be related to blood feud, since the top-ranking police officer had disagreements with members of the influential community in Ingushetia, a source reports. After one of the leaders of the followers of the Batal-Khadji Ibragim Belkharoev's doctrine was assassinated in 2018, his relatives suggested that his murder could be organized by law enforcers from the Centre for Combating Extremism.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on November 4, 2019 at 09:15 am MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

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  • "Roskomnadzor" draws up two new protocols against HRC "Memorial"

    Following the FSB Department for Ingushetia, an individual filed a complaint to the "Roskomnadzor" (Russian Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media) about the fact that the materials of the Human Rights Centre (HRC) "Memorial" were released without a "foreign agent" mark. As a result, the number of administrative protocols drawn up against Alexander Cherkasov, the chairman of the HRC's Council, reached eight.

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