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Russia11 September 2008

Federal prosecutor’s office calls for thorough probe into Ingush website owner’s death

The head of the Russian public prosecutor’s investigative committee, Alexander Bastrykin, called yesterday for an “objective and thorough” investigation into the death of Magomed Yevloyev, the owner of the Ingush news website, but did not question the Ingush authorities’ claim that it was accidental.

“Despite the desire of the federal prosecutor’s office for a thorough investigation, the claim that Yevloyev’s death was accidental has in no way been called into question,” Reporters Without Borders said. “This, however, is precisely the point at issue. We call on the authorities to consider all possible hypotheses. There is every reason to think that he was murdered.”

According to a spokesperson for the federal prosecutor’s office, Bastrykin said during a meeting in Vladikavkaz with the heads of investigative committees in southern Russia: “An objective and thorough investigation must be guaranteed in the judicial proceedings concerning the causes of Magomed Yevloyev’s death, conducted on the basis of paragraph 2 of article 109 of the Federation of Russia’s criminal code.” This paragraph concerns “death by negligence.”

Bastrykin added that criminal investigators from the federal prosecutor’s office would participate in the investigation.

Yevloyev, whose website is the only independent news outlet in Ingushetia, was shot dead while being held by interior ministry officials on 31 August. The local authorities insist that it was an “accident.”

Read 4 September 2008 press release

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