A motor rally with the Adyg flags held in Nalchik. Screenshot of the video by  Sergei Chernov "The Circassian Flag Day". Nalchik, April 25, 2017 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wo_48hgN3U

01 May 2019, 08:30

Activists condemn ban of motor rally with Circassian flags in KBR

The Kabardino-Balkarian Republic (KBR) is the only republic, where Circassian activists were not allowed to hold a motor rally on the Circassian Flag Day. The authorities are afraid of national movement strengthening, but the prohibition policy is fraught with the situation getting out of control, Martin Kochesoko, a Circassian activist, and Valery Khatazhukov, a human rights defender, believe.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on April 25, the Circassian Flag Day, law enforcers in Nalchik used to stop everyone who was driving a car or a motorcycle decorated with the flag; a number of activists were fined, eyewitnesses are reporting. Social network users were outraged by law enforcers' actions.

KBR authorities have noticed an increase of interest in motor rallies on the Circassian Flag Day, and are trying to restrain the popularity of the national movement, says Martin Kochesoko, the head of the public organization "Khabze". According to his story, in recent years, motor rallies on the Circassian Flag Day have become popular outside the KBR, for example, in Turkey and the United States.

The ban of the rally, which had been held legally for several years, has led to a misunderstanding between Circassian activists and the authorities, said Valery Khatazhukov, head of the KBR's Human Rights Centre (HRC).

The previous mistake of the republic's authorities in relations to the Circassian community resulted in riots near the village of Kendelen in the autumn of 2018, he has recalled.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on April 30, 2019 at 11:23 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Rustam Djalilov; Source: CK correspondent

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