The Situation in Ingushetia is a threat to the entire country
According to Ludmila Alexeeva, Head of the Moscow Helsinki Group, what is presently happening in Ingushetia is comparable to what happened earlier in Chechnya and in the 1930s in the entire Soviet Union. Ludmila Alexeeva was speaking at a press conference in Moscow held on her return from a fact-finding mission to Ingushetia. Speaking of constant abductions and murders of those who annoy the authorities, she said that if such practices were not stopped, they could spread throughout the country.
She also said that the Republics President Murat Zyazikov considers the opposition to be linked with a terrorist underground, but that this is not the case. The authorities are pushing Ingushetians into the opposition and the underground. “Young people think its better to go to the forest then just sit and wait until they come for you.”
In response to her question about why civilians so often disappear in Ingushetia, Zyazikov replied that the Ingushetian enforcement agencies were not involved. He claimed that the arrested people were being taken to Vladikavkaz after which all trace of them disappears.
Yesterday the site Ingushetia.ru (http://ingushetiya.ru/ ) published a full list of the people it accuses of being implicated in the murder of the head of the opposition website Magomed Yevloev. The list of those who according to Ingush traditions are liable to “bloody revenge” is headed by the President Murat Zyazikov. Ludmila Alexeeva, however, maintains that the stories about such vengeance are exaggerated and believes that most people, including Yevloevs family, are more interested in a proper investigation.
She also recounted how she directly witnessed a “purge”. They were phoned on the evening of 17 September and told the address where people in masks had just arrived. They went there and were even able to speak to the people. She says that she is sure they were Russians, and judging by pronunciation, there were Muscovites among them. Their leader introduced himself as Vitaly Ivashov. They were not allowed into the building however none of the residents was arrested. Locals said that this was the fourth visit to that family, with the first involving theft of all valuables and money.