September 3, 2008

Journalist Slaying Stirs up Trouble in Russian Hinterland

Hundreds of protestors packed the streets of a Russian city on Monday after a critic of the Kremlin was arrested and killed by police.

Magomed Yevloyev, the owner of a Web site in the rebellious Ingushetia region, was arrested on Sunday at an airport after getting off the same flight as the Moscow-supported leader of the region, according to the BBC.

Soon afterwards, he was shot in the head and dumped near a hospital, where he later died from his injuries, the BBC reported.

According to the London Telegraph, Ingushetia has been the scene of a number of deadly attacks in recent months, as a low-level Islamist insurgency has targeted local officials.

The region has a stormy history with the nearby South Ossetia region, where Russia has supported a breakaway region against the Georgian government, and, the Telegraph reports, Russia’s recent war with Georgia has further destabilized the situation.

Russian authorities say that Yevloyev tried to grab a gun while police were taking him in for questioning, and that he was accidentally shot in the ensuing struggle.

An investigation is under way, authorities said.

The protest gathered in response to a posting on Yevloyev’s Web site, Ingushetiya.ru, and reports counted the turnout at anywhere from 500 to 3,000 people.

The editor-in-chief of the Web site, Roza Malsagova, accused Ingush President Murat Zyazikov of plotting to murder Yevloyev.

“This is how you wanted to silence us,” she wrote in an open letter posted on the site.

Malsagova has fled to France, where she is seeking political asylum, according to the Moscow Times.

Other writers on the Web site declared Moscow’s policy in the region one of “open genocide” against the Ingush people.

–Will Crain / Newsdesk.org

Sources:

“Hundreds Remember Slain Web Site Owner”
The Moscow Times, September 2, 2008

“Russia faces new Caucasus uprising in Ingushetia”
The Telegraph, September 1, 2008

“Anger at death of Kremlin critic”
BBC, September 1, 2008

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