Staunton, July 18 – Akhed Buzurtanov, one of the co-founders of the Fortanga portal, says that orders to block his portal and to arrest additional Ingush opposition figures “most likely” came not from the Ingush government in Magas but from Moscow given that Russian agencies have been taken the actions (mbk-news.appspot.com/region/skoree-vsego-ukazaniya-idut/).
He told Gleb Golod of the MBK news agency that his portal had been subject to three powerful denial of service attacks before being shut down by the Russian media agency but pointed out that those involved with Fortanga know how to get around such blocking and rely primarily on Facebook and other social media Moscow can’t yet close down.
Although Buzurtanov said he could not say exactly why his portal had been targeted now, it seems likely that the authorities had “arrested all whom they could arrest … and were now moving to close down information outlets” both as an act of intimidation designed to spread fear among the population and in order to keep Ingush from knowing what is going on.
The Fortanga founder said his lawyers in Moscow were appealing the decision to shutter his resource and awaited an answer from the authorities. Until the site is up and running again, those like himself will rely on Facebook, although he said many older Ingush prefer not to use social media.
As to how much the new head of the republic is involved in these actions, Buzurtanov said that was still unclear. His predecessor, Yunus-Bek Yevkurov, had given the initial orders and apparently still telephones Makhmud-Ali Kalimatov to tell him what should be done. The Ingush population had expected a change but it hasn’t happened, at least not yet.
Kalimatov has been busy putting his own mark on the republic administration, however, with two more ministers submitting their resignations, finance minister Bekkhan Ozdoyev and education minister Yusup Kostoyev (capost.media/news/policy/v-ingushetii-ukhodyat-v-otstavku-ministry-obrazovaniya-i-finansov).
On the legal front, lawyers for Zarifa Sautiyeva have filed an appeal against the ruling keeping her in detention until September 11 (zamanho.com/?p=10725); and evidence has surfaced that Bagaudin Myakiyev, a member of the Council of Teips of the Ingush People, has been tortured while in a Nalchik jail (kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/338022/zamanho.com/?p=10736 capost.media/news/pravonarusheniya/v-nalchike-siloviki-izbili-ingushskogo-aktivista).