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Putins courts persecute Voice of Beslan women
Written by -   
, 22 2010
A statement was received by the editorial offices of ‘APN-Northwest’ regarding the immediate prosecution of female activists from the ‘Voice of Beslan’ organization. Weare publishing the text in full:
Over the past few months, the ‘Voice of Beslan’ public organization has intensified its activities. Representatives from ‘Voice of Beslan’ have renewed litigation into the actions (or inaction) of investigators looking into the Beslan terrorist attack, held several sanctioned pickets, and met with a group of European members of parliament. Allthis did not go unnoticed. Aseries of punitive measures were brought against this active ‘Voice of Beslan’, and the aim of these measures is obvious: to silence members demanding an objective inquiry into the Beslan tragedy.
Co-chair of the ‘Voice of Beslan’ organization, Ella Kesayeva, and members Svetlana Margiyeva, Emilia Bzarova, and Anastasia Tebiyeva, received a decision from JudgeZ.Archegova, of Beslan, North Ossetia. Theresolution stated that their case, which was related to a violation of Article 17.8 of the Administrative Legal Code (which would carry a fine of up to 1,500 rubles), was transferred to the Federal Bailiff Service for criminal prosecution in accordance with Part 1of Article 294of the Penal Code (which could carry a fine of up to 200,000 rubles or arrest from 2months to three years). Thiswas related a protest in court by Ella Kesayeva. Theprotest involved four victims, but thus far only one such resolution has been received.
The protest followed judicial hearings on a member of the organization. Thevictims and their representative had tried to present to the court evidence of a fabricated legal case, filing 10motions. MagistrateA.Tsallaev went into chambers seven times, then dismissed the petitions. During one such break, legal counsel for the victims and several witnesses were walking along a corridor in the court building, and saw JudgeA.Tsallaev speaking on the phone. Theyheard him ask: “Well, what do Ido next?” After this event, police officers no longer allowed the witnesses to leave the courtroom, barring the way, stating that they could not leave. Thetrial began at 3o’clock in the afternoon and lasted until 8:15 pm. Thevictims’ counsel tried to enter the chancellery office, which for some reason was open late, to transmit a petition asking for removal of the judge, but a bailiff, standing at the door, blocked her path and said that she was not allowed in. Asecretary from the office shouted over the policeman’s shoulder that they would not accept anything from her and that Judge Tsallaev said they could not to accept any of the counsel’s petitions. Thevictims asked to invite as witnesses to the trial persons noted in the minutes of the legal protocol, to which the judge replied, “I myself spoke with one witness.” The decision to protest arose spontaneously after the end of the trial, and did not interfere with the work of the court. Thelaw applies to only one side, however, and this is yet another confirmation of how the courts here operate day in and day out.
After acquainting themselves with materials from the administrative case, which led to the protest, the victims discovered that the judge had exceeded the time limit for considering administrative proceedings, after which the case should have been closed. Thejudge took the initial case with the original date of delivery of the materials to the court, and replaced it with a new date, increasing the date of receipt by exactly one month.
In her decision to bring criminal charges against E.Kesayeva, MagistrateZ.Archegova substantiated the offense by using testimony from bailiffs, who in 2008had already been proven to fabricate offenses against members of ‘Voice of Beslan’. Administrative charges had been brought against the women for allegedly beating up a judge and bailiffs, but after a great amount of bad publicity the case was dropped. Thebailiffs’ experience with giving any and all necessary evidence, however, remained.
The victims of the terrorist attack will appeal the ruling of the court in a lawful manner, but they understand the machinery of the Russian justice system will be used against them at every opportunity.
In ‘APN NORTHWEST’, December 22nd, 2010.

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