‘We don’t have a chance’: Thousands march against ‘disgraceful’ verdict
SINGAPORE – Thousands of protesters gathered in the city of Sakhalin, demanding that authorities be held accountable for the murder of their relatives in the notorious “trial of the century”.
The demonstrators chanted slogans and held banners that read: “Shame on you, you murderers”.
In a statement, the protesters said the verdict had been carried out in a way that was not in accordance with international law and that it would not be accepted in any court.
“We demand an end to the trial of the decade,” said one demonstrator, who gave his name as Faisal.
The activists said they wanted to bring a formal complaint to the United Nations Human Rights Council against the country’s justice system, which they accused of being “disgraced”.
The trial has been going on for decades in the region and has attracted widespread international attention, including a high-profile trip by US President Donald Trump to the region in April.
The protesters’ demand comes as the authorities are also preparing for the start of a major commemoration in Sakhal for the “trial”, a ceremony scheduled for September 26.
Authorities have been criticised for not allowing the protesters to have any presence during the commemoration.
On Sunday, more than 200 people gathered in front of a police station in Sahlins capital, Chubut, where hundreds had gathered before the demonstration.
The protesters were also seen carrying banners that said “Shoot the killers”.
At least two people were detained on suspicion of rioting, and at least 10 people were arrested in the capital for “obstructing traffic”.
Police said in a statement that the protesters were “attempting to impede traffic by blocking intersections”.
A spokeswoman for the government said that “the government is committed to a peaceful and democratic society, which respects the rule of law”.
“In this regard, the government has taken measures to ensure the safety of all the citizens in the Sakhali region and throughout the country,” she said.
“While there is no evidence of any breach of public order, the authorities will take all appropriate measures to safeguard the public peace.”
In a separate case, two people from the province of Krasnodar, where the “Trial of the Century” was held, were arrested on Friday and charged with conspiracy to murder their relatives.
They were released on bail.
Authorities are also examining whether other protesters were involved in the murder.