Zarifa Sautieva

Zarifa Mukharbekovna Sautieva (Russian: Зарифа Мухарбековна Саутиева; born 1 May 1978) is a museum director and political activist from Ingushetia. She was dismissed by the Russian government because of her protests about changes to the border between Chechnya and Ingushetia and then imprisoned.

Zarifa Sautieva
Born (1978-05-01) May 1, 1978 (age 44)
EmployerMemorial for Memory & Glory
OrganizationIngush Committee for National Unity


Memorial-Nazran, where Sautieva worked prior to dismissal

Sautieva was born on 1 May 1978.[1] During her childhood she loved to read.[2] Her family includes two sisters and one brother.[2] She has a university degree and lived in Sunzha in the Republic of Ingushetia.[1] She is a member of the Ingush Committee of the National Unity.[1] Until November 2018 she was deputy director of the Memorial of Memory and Glory in Nazran, Ingushetia.[3][4][5] She was particularly gifted in her museum work at community engagement.[2] She was dismissed by the Russian government from her post as a response to her involvement in protests against changes to the border between Chechnya and Ingushetia.[3][6]


Sautieva was arrested on 27 March 2019 in Magas by police, after clashes with protesters.[1] It is alleged that the protesters threw sticks, chairs and fences at police, after attempts were made to disperse the protest.[7] Whilst Sautieva used social media to record protests, the recordings from March 2019 show her calling other protesters to order.[2]

Sautieva was one of 33 people detained as a response to their role in the protests against the border.[8] She is the only woman to be detained.[8] She has been held in custody since 12 July 2019.[1][9] She has been detained at a centre in Nalchik in Kabardino-Balkaria.[4] She has claimed that whilst in detention, she and other protesters, are victims of psychological torture and physical violence.[10] When asked to give a sample of handwriting during detention, she wrote out a poem by Osip Mandelstam.[2]

On 15/16 January 2020, Sautieva and other protesters were charged with participation in an extremist community.[11] On 26 January a complaint was filed by lawyers from the Human Rights Centre in Ingushetia to the European Court of Human Rights about the conviction.[12] On 27 March an open letter, signed by over 170 people, called for her release.[13] This campaign was begun by fellow activist Leyla Gazdiyeva.[14] As of March 2020, her trial was due to take place in private, and her family were barred from visiting her.[15] The Council of Europe views her, and her fellow activists, as political prisoners held by the state.[16]


  1. ^ a b c d e "List of Individuals Recognised as Political Prisoners by the Memorial Human Rights Centre (with the Exception of Those Persecuted in connection with the Realisation of their Right to Freedom of Religion) as of 19 February 2020" (PDF).{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. ^ a b c d e Катаева, Марина (2020-02-12). ""Надеюсь, не закончу как Мандельштам". Как Зарифа Саутиева стала самой известной женщиной Ингушетии". BBC News Русская служба (in Russian). Retrieved 2020-04-16.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. ^ a b Узел, Кавказский. "Employee of Ingush Museum fired after she took part in protest actions". Caucasian Knot. Retrieved 2020-04-16.
  4. ^ a b "Activist and journalist arrested and 'tortured' in Ingushetia". OC Media. 2019-07-13. Retrieved 2020-04-16.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. ^ "Саутиева Зарифа Мухарбековна". Retrieved 2020-04-16.
  6. ^ "Aggressor's return to PACE or money has no smell: Human rights violations – Ukrainian Think Tanks Liaison Office in Brussels". Retrieved 2020-04-16.
  7. ^ "ИНГУШЕТИЯ. Ингушская активистка Зарифа Саутиева задержана по делу о насилии на митинге". ИА Чеченинфо (in Russian). Retrieved 2020-04-16.
  8. ^ a b "Rysslandsdagarna: "Det är inte bara i storstäderna som människor protesterar"". AmnestyPress. Retrieved 2020-04-16.
  9. ^ "Саутиева Зарифа Мухарбековна | Правозащитный центр «Мемориал»". Retrieved 2020-04-16.
  10. ^ Redactor (2019-11-19). "Зарифа Саутиева назвала физической пыткой и психологическим насилием отношение к лидерам протеста". Фортанга (in Russian). Retrieved 2020-04-16.
  11. ^ Russia, Institute of Modern (2020-01-31). "January-2020: Memorial, Jehovah's Witnesses, Ingushetia Case". Institute of Modern Russia. Retrieved 2020-04-16.
  12. ^ Узел, Кавказский. "Complaint about violation of Zarifa Sautieva's rights filed to ECtHR". Caucasian Knot. Retrieved 2020-04-16.
  13. ^ Узел, Кавказский. "Appeal to release Zarifa Sautieva raises more than 170 signatures". Caucasian Knot. Retrieved 2020-04-16.
  14. ^ "İnguş aktivist Zarifa Sautieva'nın serbest bırakılması için, imza kampanyası başlatıldı". Retrieved 2020-04-16.
  15. ^ Узел, Кавказский. "Relatives complain about ban on visits to Zarifa Sautieva". Caucasian Knot. Retrieved 2020-04-16.
  16. ^ Voronov, Alex (2019-10-29). "Hjälp förföljda av ryska staten – där och här". Retrieved 2020-04-16.