Staunton, October 17 – Penal officials in Ingushetia have found a new way to torture those they have detained for participation in protests against the land deal with Chechnya: they move them in chains and in confined spaces from one jail to another over the course of as many as 20 hours in 24.
For the elderly -- and several of the Ingush protest leaders are over 65 and in poor health -- such treatment constitutes a form of torture designed to break the will of the prisoners in a way that few outside prison walls will recognize, their lawyers say (doshdu.com/ingushskie-arestovannye-aktivisty-podvergajutsja-dlitelnym-pereezdam-v-avtozakah/).
Another form of official abuse, searches and harassment of family members of those detained, also often escapes notice. But it has become so threatening that at least one victim, the father of opposition figure Khasan Katsiyev has appealed to Memorial to defend his family from persecution (memohrc.org/ru/news_old/otec-ingushskogo-oppozicionera-hasana-kacieva-poprosil-memorial-zashchitit-ego-semyu-ot).
Meanwhile, Ingush activists say but official sources have not yet confirmed that siloviki in Kabardino-Balkaria have arrested Ingush journalist Dzhamaldin Khamkhoyev, charged him with attacking police during the March 26-27 protests and then released him on his own recognizance (kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/341312/).
Such actions show that repression against the people of Ingushetia is far from being the work of Ingush officials alone. Instead, it is a concerted effort that could occur without the active support of Moscow, a pattern that will increasingly transform what has been a protest against Magas int something far more serious, a protest against Moscow.