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Russia14 November 2008

Ingush news website owner’s arrest declared “illegal”

A court in the Ingush city of Nazran has ruled that the detention of Magomed Yevloyev, the owner of the news website, by interior ministry agents on 31 August - during which he was shot dead - was “illegal,” Yevloyev family lawyer Mussa Pliyev reported on 12 November.

“This is a first step towards recognising the political nature of the behaviour of the Ingush security forces in this case,” Reporters Without Borders said. “We hope that a thorough and impartial investigation will soon be carried out into the exact circumstances of Yevloyev’s death.”

An opponent of then Ingush President Murat Zyazikov, Yevloyev was arrested by interior ministry personnel in Magas, Ingushetia’s new capital, as he disembarked from the plane that had brought him from Moscow. During the flight, he had a violent argument with President Zyazikov, who happened to be aboard the same plane.

Yevloyev was fatally shot in the head after being forcibly driven away in a police car. The local authorities have blamed his death on “negligence.” This is rejected by the Ingush opposition and the Yevloyev family.

Russian President Dmitri Medvedev issued a decree on 30 October replacing Zyazikov as Ingush president by Yunus-Bek Yevkurov. A career military officer who was awarded the “Hero of Russia” title for his role in the fighting in neighbouring Chechnya, Zyazikov had been president of Ingushetia since 2002. His previous posts included that of deputy chief of military intelligence for the Ural-Volga region.

Read our last press releases on the case : 11/09/2008 - Federal prosecutor’s office calls for thorough probe into Ingush website owner’s death 04/09/2008 - Website owner’s last words to his editor : “Roza, they are taking me away” 31/08/2008 - Ingush news website owner shot dead while held by interior ministry officials

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