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Ingush Activist Charged With Attacking Police Officer Kept In Pretrial Detention


Ingush activist Zarifa Sautiyeva (file photo)

YESSENTUKI, Russia -- A Russian court has extended the pretrial detention of Zarifa Sautiyeva, an activist accused of assaulting a police officer during a protest in her native North Caucasus region of Ingushetia, her lawyer says.

Bilan Dzugayev told RFE/RL on September 10 that a court in the city of Yessentuki in the Stavropol Krai region had prolonged his client’s pretrial detention until December 11.

Dzugayev said he would appeal the court's ruling.

Sautiyeva has denied the charge against her.

Sautiyeva, a member of the Ingush National Unity Committee, was arrested in July and charged with attacking a police officer during an unsanctioned rally against a controversial border deal between Ingushetia and the neighboring region of Chechnya.

On March 26, an authorized demonstration was held in Ingushetia's capital, Magas, to protest the closed-doors deal reached in September 2018 to settle an Ingush-Chechen border dispute.

The protest continued the following day without the authorities' permission and was violently dispersed by police. More than 50 people were detained, and charges were filed against at least 10 people.

Ingush opponents of the deal say that the region's land is being unjustly handed over to Chechnya, whose strongman leader, Ramzan Kadyrov, has been accused of interfering in the affairs of neighboring Ingushetia and Daghestan.

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