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Prosecutors In Russia's Ingushetia Seek Five-Year Prison Term For Journalist

Rashid Maisigov
Rashid Maisigov

MAGAS, Russia -- Prosecutors in Russia's North Caucasus region of Ingushetia have asked a court in the regional capital, Magas, to sentence Rashid Maisigov, a former editor of the opposition online media outlet Fortanga, to five years in prison on drug charges that he and his lawyers reject.

Maisigov's lawyer, Magomet Aushev, told RFE/RL on September 10 that a date for pronouncing the verdict and sentence had not been set yet, adding that the trial was adjourned until September 15.

Maisigov was arrested in June 2019 and charged with possession of illegal drugs. Maisigov and his lawyers insist that the drugs were planted and the whole case was fabricated by local authorities.

In February, Maisigov was additionally charged with separatism and his trial on that charge, which he rejects as well, is pending.

The Fortanga Telegram channel extensively covered mass rallies in Magas last year, where thousands of demonstrators protested a deal on the demarcation of administrative boundaries between Ingushetia and another Russian region, Chechnya.

The protests were violently dispersed by police and security forces, and dozens of demonstrators were detained and faced criminal charges.

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

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