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Ingush Activist Sent To Pretrial Detention Over Violence At Rallies Against Chechen Border Deal

Ingush activist Zarifa Sautiyeva (file photo)

NALCHIK, Russia -- A court in Kabardino-Balkaria has placed Ingush activist Zarifa Sautiyeva in pretrial detention.

Sautiyeva was charged with attacking a police officer during unsanctioned rallies in Russia's North Caucasus region of Ingushetia against a controversial border deal with the neighboring region of Chechnya.

She was detained on July 12 in North Ossetia and transferred to Kabardino-Balkaria later.

The Nalchik City Court on July 16 ruled that Sautiyeva, a member of the Ingush National Unity Committee, must remain in pretrial detention until September 11.

On March 26, an authorized protest was held in Ingushetia's capital, Magas, to protest a closed-door deal reached in September 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.

Sautiyeva told RFE/RL in March that police "charged" against the demonstrators, using rubber batons and shields, forcing protesters to use chairs brought to the scene for elderly people and other items to repel the attacks.

Ingush opponents of the deal say that Ingush 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.