Declaration Regarding Political Prosecution in Ingushetia
On May 8, 2019, human rights advocate and head of the Ingushetia’s Choice public organization Ismail Nalgiev was arrested at Minsk airport. A month ago, Ismail began collaboration with the Golos Movement and started preparations for the monitoring of local elections that will take place in the republic on the single voting day of September 8, 2019.
At the airport’s passport control, the human rights activist was told that he is on the interstate wanted list. The Belorussian authorities handed Nalgiev over to the Russian law enforcement agencies who delivered him to the Republic of Kabardino-Balkaria, to the investigator of the investigative brigade of the Chief Investigatory Department of the Russian Investigative Committee for the North Caucasus Federal District. He was accused of the use of life- and health-threatening force against a public official (part 2, article 318 of the Criminal Code).
After the actions of the Ingush authorities who transferred a part of the republic’s territory to Chechnya led to large-scale civil protests, Ismail Nalgiev spoke in favor of the referendum that would resolve this heated civil and political conflict through the methods envisioned in the legislation.
Ismail consistently asserts the citizens’ constitutional rights to free expression of their opinions and beliefs, to free assembly, referenda and elections as the highest direct expression of people’s power.
The Golos movement regards prosecution of Ismail Nalgiev as an attempt to intimidate and remove from the public life those citizens who speak in favor of the civilized resolution of the conflict and who enjoy the trust and support of the public. When all is said and done, political prosecution of the proponents of peaceful and lawful methods of conflict resolution will only further escalate tensions in the republic, bringing the radical methods “to the fore.”
In the interests of preserving stability in the Republic of Ingushetia, the Golos Movement urges the release of Ismail Nalgiev and other activists who were arrested using trumped-up and politically motivated cases.
A number of media sources had sounded concerns that torture may be applied to Ismail, and we implore the High Commissioner for Human Rights in the Russian Federation Tatyana Moskalkova and the chairman of the Presidential Council for Civil Society Development and Human Rights Mikhail Fedotov to personally visit Ismail Nalgiev in jail.