Islam Gugov at the court session. Photo by Konstantin Volgin for the "Caucasian Knot"

06 August 2019, 11:29

KBR resident-returnee from Syria files complaint to the ECtHR

Islam Gugov, a resident of the Kabardino-Balkarian Republic (KBR), sentenced to 16 years in prison after his voluntary return from Syria, has sent a complaint to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), in which he claims the second sentence for one and the same crime, a frequent change of judges and the inability to question witnesses.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on October 15, 2018, the North-Caucasian District Military Court found Islam Gugov's links with militants and sentenced him to 16 years in prison. According to prosecutors, Gugov had undergone training in Syrian militant camps. His defence demanded to acquit Gugov, but the Supreme Court (SC) rejected the appeal.

The October 2018 verdict was already the third for Gugov. Earlier, he had been twice convicted for links with militants, but both times he managed to annul the sentences.

A positive ECtHR's decision on this case will help other citizens who had joined terrorists but want to return to Russia and start peaceful life, said Marina Agaltsova, a lawyer at the Human Rights Centre (HRC) "Memorial".

Let us remind you that Gugov had voluntarily returned to Russia from Syria, believing the authorities' promises that he would stay at large, but he was detained at the Nalchik Airport. The Gugov's case has become a precedent of law enforcers' ignoring the guarantees for those, who have voluntarily returned from the Middle East conflict, said Oleg Orlov, a board member of the HRC "Memorial".

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on August 6, 2019 at 04:31 am MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

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