On 12 September, a court in the Russian Republic of Chechnya convicted 14 men of ‘participation in an illegal armed formation’ and ‘illegal purchase and possession of weapons’. The trial was held in secret, with relatives claiming they were promised the men would receive lighter sentences if they did not contact rights groups or the media.
Ingushetia’s Muftiate was absent on Saturday at a conference of Muslim religious authorities from throughout the Russian North Caucasus, OC Media has learnt. While the Muftiates of all other republics attended, Ingushetia was represented by the state religious authorities, who have been in public conflict with the Mufti since 2015.
Allegations of a Chechen ‘invasion’ of Ingushetia sparked outrage from Ingush social media users last week, after a photo emerged online purporting to show a Chechen official raising a flag in an Ingush village. Work on a remote mountain road in Chechnya near the border with Ingushetia has revived a territorial dispute between the two republics. [Read more…]
A recording of a phone conversation between a Chechen dissident blogger and the chair of Chechnya’s parliament, Magomed Daudov, has led to speculation about Daudov’s political ambitions. In the video, which went viral online, Tumso Abdurakhmanov mocks Daudov’s safety guarantees if he were to return.
One police officer was killed and three more injured in Chechnya on Monday in a coordinated knife, bomb, and car attack, according to official reports. Four of the five attackers, one of who was 11 years old, were killed during the attacks, and a fifth wounded.
On 3 August, Yusup Temirkhanov, a Chechen convicted of killing an ex–Russian soldier, died in a Russian prison in Siberia. Tens of thousands of people including the head of Chechnya attended Temirkhanov’s funeral, raising questions over Russia’s position in Chechnya, and how Chechens are treated in Russian prisons.
The trial of human rights activist Oyub Titiyev, who heads the Chechen branch of Russian rights group Memorial, kicked off on 18 July in Chechnya’s Shali District Court. Titiyev, who has been in custody since January, is charged with possession of large quantities of cannabis; Titiyev and his defence team reject the accusation, claiming the drugs were planted on him and that the case is politically motivated.
Around 50 women from the North Caucasus have appealed to Russian President Vladimir Putin to help return family members imprisoned in Iraq to Russia, according to Caucasian Knot. In a letter addressed to the president on 15 July, the group appealed for their relatives to face trial in their homeland. [Read more…]
The widow of the Georgian-born former Islamic State Minister of War, Tarkhan Batirashvili, aka Abu Omar al-Shishani, has been detained on the outskirts of Istanbul. Turkish authorities announced on Thursday that Seda Dudurkayeva was detained by Turkish special services on 4 July.
Chechnya’s Finance Minister Sultan Tagayev announced on Monday that 10,000 ‘high-performing jobs’ were created throughout ‘all sectors of the economy’ over the last five years in Chechnya, including more than 4,500 in 2017. However, a number of local residents told OC Media that the local authorities artificially inflate employment statistics, denying people their right to unemployment benefits.