Person of the Week: Magomed Mutsolgov

posted 16 Nov 2015, 07:51 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 16 Nov 2015, 08:01 ]
On 6 November 2015 the home and office of Ingush human rights activist Magomed Mutsolgov were searched by law enforcement agents. Mutsolgov was told he faces charges of “anti-Russian and subversive activities" based on a ruling of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Ingushetia of 20 October 2010.


Aleksandr Cherkasov, chair of the board of the Memorial Human Rights Centre (Moscow), has issued the following statement on the case: "The very language of the ruling and the non-legal lexicon with which it is full, is astonishing and deeply reminiscent of Soviet times. What on earth do they mean by ‘destructive opinions’? Allegations such as ‘Mutsolgov acts extremely secretively, and painstakingly disguises his extremist leanings’ are a clear sign that there is no crime that can be pinned on Magomed. Yet there is every possibility that this quasi-legal clap-trap will result in a real-life criminal case on the grounds of ‘treachery’, a fate suffered by Professor Mikhail Savva, also in the Caucasus. The Stalin-era terminology of the ‘law’ on ‘foreign agents’ is now being used to fabricate all-too-real criminal cases. The work of Magomed Mutsolgov and the NGO Mashr over many years has gained a well-deserved authority and respect. Russian NGOs and the international human rights community should not underestimate the gravity of this case and should come to their defence.”

Hugh Williamson, Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch, has said: “The allegations against Magomeg Mutsolgov and his organization are outrageous and clearly aim to intimidate and demonize him in the public eye. Human rights defenders should be protected, not harassed and intimidated. Government attempts to threaten human rights groups with ungrounded allegations and arbitrary searches are unacceptable in a democratic society.”

Human Rights Watch points out that Article 12 of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders stipulates that states shall take all necessary measures to ensure the protection for human rights defenders against “any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary actions” related to their efforts to protect and promote human rights and fundamental freedoms.

'Magomed Mutsolgov accused of “anti-Russian and subversive activities",', 7 November 2015
'Russia: Officials Harassing Ingushetia Rights Defender,' Human Rights Watch, 10 November 2015