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Makhachkala residents protest against local imam

16 January 2017

On 15 January, inhabitants of the Separatorny district of Makhachkala, the capital of Daghestan, took to the streets to protest against members of the local mosque. According to the protesters, a ‘separate principality’ has been formed in the area since the mosque opened.

The mosque on Khurshilov Street opened in September 2015, and since then, according to the protesters, followers of Imam Magomed Mamatkhanov have prevented people from living in peace.

‘They take away other people’s property and evict people from their homes. Since the mosque appeared, a separate principality has been formed here, which doesn’t obey any law except the will of the imam’, a protester told Daghestani daily Chernovik.

According to Chernovik, the protesters took to the streets after an incident on the morning of 14 January, in which construction workers destroyed a wall erected by the Saadulazimov family on their own land, which protected the area from a nearby road. According to the wall’s owners, it was destroyed by members of Mamatkhanov’s mosque because they wanted to use their land as a carpark for a shop belonging to businessman Akhmad Saygitguseynov, who is a follower of Imam Mamatkhanov.

The protesters hoped to talk with Mamatkhanov or with another representative of the mosque. However, no-one from the mosque was forthcoming.