Ingush opposition leaders in the courtroom. September 2021. Photo by the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent

04 February 2023, 17:02

Ingush natives express their hope for commutation of punishment for protest leaders

Partial access to the case file violates the right of Ingush opposition leaders to defence and is recognized as a legal basis for annulment of the decision, advocate Magomed Bekov states. Relatives and friends of the defendants hope that the court of appeal will commute their sentences, although they consider the commutation to be unlikely.

The “Caucasian Knot” has reported that the appeal trial in the case against the leaders of the Ingush opposition began in Stavropol on January 13, but was postponed because of the advocate’s illness. The defence demanded the removal of the judges, but the motion was dismissed.

Seven protest leaders in Ingushetia have been accused of creating an extremist community. On December 15, 2021, the court sentenced Akhmed Barakhoev, Musa Malsagov, and Malsag Uzhakhov to nine years, Ismail Nalgiev, Bagaudin Khautiev, and Barakh Chemurziev – to eight years, and Zarifa Sautieva – to 7.5 years of imprisonment in a penal colony. The Ingush activists pointedly received long sentences for peaceful protest, political analysts believe.

The defendants’ right to defence remains violated in the court of appeal, as the court unreasonably refused to provide them with all the volumes of the case, advocate Magomed Bekov notes.

Relatives, friends, and fellow countrymen who are not indifferent to the fate of the defendants have gathered in front of the court building.

'I came to support my cousin Zarifa Sautieva and all the others, as we believe that they are not guilty of anything,' said Ibragim Sautiev.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on February 3, 2023 at 08:52 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Source: СK correspondent

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