Policemen during protest rally in Magas. Photo: REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

17 January 2020, 11:30

Charging Ingush activists with extremism outrages rights defenders

Akhmed Barakhoev is charged with creating an extremist community, while investigators have accused Barakh Chemurziev and Ismail Nalgiev of taking part in this community. Human rights defenders urge to stop criminally prosecuting them.

On March 26, residents of Ingushetia continued their rally in Magas, which resulted in clashes between protestors and law enforcers. According to the calculations run by the "Caucasian Knot", at least 96 activists were persecuted after the rally.

On January 16, Barakh Chemurziev was charged under Part 2, Article 282.1, of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation with “taking part in an extremist community”. On January 15, a similar charge was brought against Ismail Nalgiev, and on the same day investigators accused Akhmed Barakhoev under Part 1 of the same Article of “organizing an extremist community,” the Human Rights Centre (HRC) “Memorial” wrote on its website on January 16.

According to investigators, the community was created “with the aim to remove the then head of Ingushetia, Yunus-Bek Evkurov, from his post, destabilize the socio-political situation in the republic, and against the foundations of the state’s constitutional system and security,” the rights defenders’ message quotes the indictment.

The HRC “Memorial” treats the new criminal case as "illegal, unjustified and politically motivated."

“This is another step towards the suppression of legitimate social activeness, of rights and freedoms not only of residents of Ingushetia, but also of the citizens of Russia as a whole. We demand to stop the illegal persecution of protesters in Ingushetia,” says the rights defenders’ statement.

According to Timur Akiev, the head of the Nazran branch of the HRC “Memorial”, human rights defenders intend to defend the arrested participants of the March rally in Magas up to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR).

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on January 17, 2020 at 02:26 am MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

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