Ingush opposition leaders searched and jailed after popular protests
On April 3, Ruslan Mutsolgov told Znak.com that law enforcement agencies in Ingushetia had begun searching the homes of the republic’s opposition leaders. Mutsolgov leads the local branch of the opposition Yabloko party. Later in the day, Kavkazsky Uzel reported that Malsag Uzhakhov, the chair of the republic’s Council of Teips, had been given 10 days of jail time along with Musa Malsagov and Akhmed Barakhoyev, two members of the Ingush Committee for National Unity. Barakh Chemurziev, the leader of the Opora Ingushetii movement, received 10 days of administrative arrest, according to Mediazona.
Some sources have indicated that more arrests and news of jail time may be forthcoming. The Telegram channel Baza reported that seven people had been arrested, and journalists have been unable to reach a number of activists. According to Ruslan Mutsolgov, the Internet was disconnected throughout Ingushetia in the early morning of April 3.
Ingush activists say the searches and arrests are being conducted under the umbrella of a criminal investigation Russia’s Investigative Committee initiated after alleged attacks on 10 law enforcement and Russian National Guard officers during protests in the Ingush capital of Magas. The Investigative Committee has also announced that it is looking into calls for mass protests that spread on the internet ahead of the protests themselves. Recent unrest in Ingushetia, a Caucasian republic that is a Russian federal subject, has stemmed from an attempt on the part of the republic’s government to trade territory with Chechnya without submitting the move to a popular vote.