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Daghestani police disperse second pro-Palestine rally in a week

23 October 2023
Horse racers carrying Palestinian flags in Daghestan on 20 October. Image: Newizv.ru

The Daghestani police have dispersed hundreds of people rallying in support of Palestine in Khasavyurt. Two MMA fighters, Chechen Khamzat Chimayev, and Daghestani Islam Makhachev, also expressed support for Palestine over the weekend.

The protest took place on Friday at the Dzhumagulov tank memorial in Khasavyurt.

Videos from the protests published by Ask Rasul, a Daghestani Telegram channel, showed protesters planting the Palestinian flag at the memorial.

The protest was dispersed by the police with no arrests being made, according to Sapa Kavkaz, another Telegram channel covering the North Caucasus. 

Several people addressed the crowds during the protest, calling for an end to Israel’s attack on the Gaza Strip.

‘We worry about our brothers. We are against this war. We give a warning to Israel to stop this war today’, said one of the speakers at the protest.

The Gaza Strip, a Palestinian territory situated between Israel and Egypt, has been under Israeli blockade since 2007.

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In fighting that began following an attack by the territory’s ruling authority, Hamas, on Israeli territory on 7 October, at least 5,087 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli airstrikes, according to Al Jazeera, while over 1,300 Israelis were killed in Hamas’s attacks, according to Haaretz.

Daghestanis in the Karabudakhkent locality also held rallies in support of Palestine in two different villages, Geli and Dorgeli.

The villages organised a motorcade joined by several men on horses carrying Palestinian flags.

They later held a horse race in their villages.

The rallies in Karabudakhkent ended after the locality’s administration called on demonstrators to pray instead of organising demonstrations.

‘The administration of the Karabudakhkent district calls on residents to not attend unauthorised rallies and protests! Unauthorised rallies and protests are prohibited by Russian law’, read a statement from the Karabudakhkent administration.

‘The best way to support the people of Palestine at this time is through the prayer and dua.’

On Thursday, Daghestani police detained pro-Palestine protesters and reportedly issued them with military summons. 

[Read more: Pro-Palestine protesters ‘issued military summons’ in Daghestan]

Inside the ring

On Saturday, Islam Makhachev, a Daghestani MMA fighter, carried the Palestinian flag after he won his fight against Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 294, a mixed martial event that took place in Abu Dhabi.

‘I am not celebrating [the] win today because [of] the crazy things that are happening around the world. Palestine, we stand with you’, said Makhachev in a post-fight interview, according to Al Arabiya.

At the same event, Khamzat Chimayev, a close associate of Chechen Head Ramzan Kadyrov, gave a speech in support of Palestine in both Chechen and English after defeating his opponent, Kamaru Usman. 

During his speech, he asked Kadyrov to give him permission to fight in Palestine.

‘Our national leader [Ramzan Kadyrov], may the Almighty be pleased with you! With your support, it is not a problem for me to fight in the Octagon, and if you give your permission, I swear that I will be the first to go there [to Palestine]. I ask you, give me a weapon and let me go fight for Palestine’, Chimayev said after the victory.

In a post on Telegram, Kadyrov praised Chimayev’s victory, but did not comment on whether he intended to grant the request. 

Read in Armenian on CivilNet.