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East Ingushetia Protests continue, government begins trials

Imperator Azenquor

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[b][u]BCNA: Illegal Protest march in East Ingushetia[/b][/u]

-Regional Government HQ

[i]“In the East Ingushetia Autonomous Region (EIAR), several pro separatist leaders organized an illegal march to the Regional Government Headquarters in what they called a [b]‘march to condemn the fraudulent elections held by the government of Vauleyo-Buryatia’[/b] and to [b]‘continue to remind the government of Vauleyo-Buryatia that East Ingushetia’s desire for independence has not diminished’[/b] despite the decline in the numbers of the [b]Liberation Army of East Siberia (LAES)[/b].

In a move guaranteed to provoke controversy, the Grand Imam of East Ingushetia attended the protest march and called upon supporters to [b]‘pray for the release of those prisoners who committed no act of sedition against the state’[/b]. He also called upon the Vauleyo-Buryatian government to release the individuals who are not members of the LAES as a key move towards reconciliation. The individuals in question are the 2,710 people who were detained for providing financial support to the [b]Liberation Army of East Siberia (LAES)[/b] during its attempted secession from Vauleyo-Buryatia. Several of these individuals remain in prison awaiting trial as the judiciary wades through the thousands of cases resulting from the conflict.

After a short speech, the Grand Imam led the march to the Regional Government Headquarters, where the protesters remained with red and blue flags in hand. The protest drew a crowd of nearly 80,000 people who marched in support of the Imam, and in support of an independent East Ingushetia. The government’s response to the illegal march was somewhat muted as they simply deployed 20,000 riot police officers near the building and reminded the protest organizers that the march was illegal.

When asked about the requests of the protesting groups, a local government official told BCNA News that the regional government was [b]‘not seriously considering any of the requests made by the protesters’[/b] since the protest itself was illegal and since [b]‘no written requests have been submitted to the relevant regional government agencies’[/b]. A regional MP who is said to belong to the political arm of the [b]Vaulian National Army (VNA)[/b] has called upon the regional government to [b]‘arrest the lawbreakers without delay’[/b]

Despite the protests going on at the Regional Government Headquarters, the first trials got underway in the nearby judiciary building. According to released Court Documents, three LAES militants are the first to be tried under charges of [b]terrorism, treason, sedition, murder, defrauding the government, illegal acquisition and use of a firearm,seeking to undermine Vauleyo-Buryatia's territorial integrity,extortion, and being party to illegal activity[/b]. As is customary, the identities of the individuals on trial will not be released to the public until after the trial has been concluded and a verdict has been reached.

We will continue to watch the developments in East Ingushetia closely over the next few days."[/i]

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[u][b]BCNA News: First LAES militants receive death penalty[/b][/u]

[i]"After listening to several hours of testimony, and poring over data gathered by the military and by the [b]Humanitarian Aid Division[/b], the [b]East Ingushetia Regional Court[/b] handed down death sentences to the three LAES militants who are the first to stand trial. The [b]East Ingushetia Regional Court[/b] found the three guilty of all charges and handed down the harshest penalty under Vauleyo-Buryatian law. The three individuals will be sent back to prison, where they will remain to file their appeal to the Supreme People's Court, if the appeal is rejected, the individuals will likely be executed once the entire trial process has reached its conclusion.

Wasting no time after handing down the first sentences, the [b]East Ingushetian Regional Court[/b] called up another similar case involving another member of the LAES who is also expected to receive the death penalty. A spokesperson for the Regional Court lamented the backlog of cases related to the [b]Liberation Army of East Siberia[/b], but said that the courts would wade through the mountains of evidence and testimony carefully in each of the cases, before reaching a conclusion. The spokesperson also expressed his desire that other regional courts should be allowed to bring LAES suspects to trial to help relieve the backlog of more than 3,500 cases.

Once the first verdicts were announced by the court, several protesters submitted a petition to the courts to [b]'pardon'[/b] the three individuals as an act of [b]'humanitarian compassion and reconciliation'[/b]. The court has so far rejected that appeal outright. Protests in East Ingushetia can be expected to continue for the next few months as the government continues to bring those arrested to trial."[/i]-Reporter

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