Chairwoman Hautala has received with alarm the news of kidnapping of Ingushetian opposition leader, Mr Magomed Khazbiev today. The abduction follows a violent attack against him and his two brothers in their home by unidentified men during the same day. [:]On 21 March they were reportedly also fired upon at a demonstration in Nazran, Ingushetia. His whereabouts are unknown.
This persistent targeting of opposition figures in Ingushetia is simply unacceptable. There is no place for this kind of harassment in a society that the President of the Republic, Mr Yunus Bek Yevkurov, purports to be based on rule of law.
This abduction must be investigated. Those responsible must be brought to justice. In a region full of grievances, accountability is an absolute precondition for security and safety of people. The Ombudsman of Ingushetia has been vested with powers to oversee that justice be done. Authorities must cooperate with his office fully. There is no alternative route to peaceful and safe Ingushetia.
A Letter to the Ombudsman of Ingushetia was sent:
Dear Human Rights Commissioner Lukin,
I am contacting you with regards an urgent matter. Today we received deeply worrying news that an opposition leader Mr Magomed Khazbiev has been fired upon, attacked and abducted from his home in Ingushetia. I have understood that also his two brothers, Mr Murad and Mr Berd Khazbiev were attacked and abducted along with Mr Magomed Khazbiev. This took place reportedly after they took part in a demonstration in Nazran, Ingushetia, today on 23 March.
Later today an ambulance was called to the house of the Khazbiev family in Nazran Magomed Khazbiev’s mother fainted, while Magomed’s brother, Ali, was hospitalised because of an open head wound. Doctors said Ali’s frontal bone was broken (apparently as a result of the beating by the armed police earlier in the day).
I have received reports that President of Ingushetia, Mr Yunus Bek Yevkurov would be aware of the events. I also maintain that the highest responsibility to uphold rule of law in Ingushetia, is his. For these two reasons I appeal to you to contact Mr Yevkurov urgently to raise these issues with him.
To add, the abduction of opposition leader Mr Khazbiev is only the latest of many of the disappearances and murders of opposition members in Ingushetia. It is however so that never before has a leader of opposition been targeted with this level of violence. Implications for this kind of policy will be gravest. It is for this reason also that I consider that at this time, your intervention on the matter would be necessary.
I look forward to hearing from you the soonest.