Circassians Memorable day: mourning as extremism

Production of commemorative mourning ribbons for the anniversary of the Russian-Caucasian war may lead court action for a Circassian activist

The date of May 21 is always sorrowful in KBR. Every year on this day the country holds events dedicated to the memory day of Adyghes - victims of the Caucasian War (1763-1864). But this year, this day they will not only remember the victims, but also wait for the results of investigative expertise.

Recently Beslan Teuvazhev was detained in Moscow. The reason for his detention was mourning ribbons, which are traditionally produced for the day of mourning. Kavpolit spoke with Circassian activists and human rights defenders to find out what could this issue end with.

Today, the police in Moscow detained in Beslan Teuvazhev for production of mourning ribbons for 150th anniversary of the end of the Russian-Caucasian war. This announcement appeared in the Facebook page of Vladimir Teuvazhev.

The Caucasian War memory day has been a reoccurring tradition for many Caucasians, but for some reason now it has attracted attention of law enforcement. As Beslan Teuvazhev told, in the police station he was asked a few questions, mourning ribbons were seized and he was released. He wasn't given a copy of the interrogation.

"In their conversation, I realized that they want to impute inciting ethnic hatred. Ribbons seized for examination. If the examination finds an offense under this article, the case will take a serious turn. Of course, I had no intention to stir up hatred, I just handed out the ribbons to commemorate May 21, "- says Teuvazhev.

Head of Kabardino-Balkaria Public Human Rights Center, a member of the Public Chamber of the CBD Valery Khatazhukov told Kavpolit that when he called to inquire about Teuvazhev the duty officer reported that he was released and ribbons were returned immediately. Now a human rights activist begins to think that, despite the absurdity of this situation, this is a signal that someone wants Circassian activists to be pulled outside the legal sphere.

"For me personally, it seems that some certain forces have a desire to somehow knock Circassian topic and activists who are engaged in this topic out of the legal framework. Provoke them to some unconscionable action and so on. Personally it feels to be more the case, especially when I begin to analyze and consider all the facts."

"These ribbons have been distributed for so many years, how could they be a cause for a criminal case? - feels indignant Khatazhukov. – In Circassia scientific and practical conferences on the issue had just concluded. The Conference organizer who is very loyal to the modern Russian leadership. It was stated at these conferences that it was a national grief of the Mountaineers, the liberation war, that it was 150 years ago and it is important to remember about it",- adds a human rights activist.

In turn, the head of the regional organization "Kabardian Congress" Aslan Beshto said to Kavpolit that he considers extremism not the mourning ribbon with the words "Russian-Caucasian war" in Adyghe language, but the attempts to interrupt the traditional commemorations.

"As an activist and a citizen I can say that these accusations and statements of the police department are inciting ethnic hatred, - Beshto says, - because for many years that this event took place, there was not a single case that this ribbon served as a reason for ethnic hatred. These ribbons carry only one meaning - it's a reminder, memory. Make up a reason where there is none, it is a justification for the existence of the Interior Affairs bodies.

The Center for Resisting Extremism in Nalchik, where it is worth saying, serve people of different nationalities, not a single person ever thought to consider these ribbons as a pretext for hostility. Moreover, last year there were conducted a linguistic expertise, the inscription on the ribbons were checked for incitement of ethnic hatred. Linguistic expertise uniquely answered - these ribbons hold no incitement, hostility or hatred."


English translation services provided by: Circassian News Network, Alan Dja Mirze.


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