Staunton, February 16 – Aleksandr Mukomolov, head of the permanent commission of Putin’s Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights, met earlier this week in Magas with Makhmud-Ali Kalimatov to discuss the state of civil society and human rights in the Republic of Ingushetia.
The meeting and its focus were reported by the Moscow Council on its website (president-sovet.ru/presscenter/news/read/6091/), but it hasn’t been on Ingush government sites and it appears that the talks involved only Mukomolov and Kalimatov and no one from the human rights movement in Ingushetia.
Not surprisingly, many in Ingushetia are now asking how such a topic could be discussed in the absence of representatives of civil society and say this is typical of how Ingush and Moscow leaders make decisions about them without them (fortanga.org/2020/02/chto-obsuzhdali-kalimatov-s-mukomolovym-na-kuluarnoj-vstreche-v-otsutstvie-predstavitelej-grazhdanskogo-obshhestva/ and 6portal.ru/posts/тайная-миссия-члена-спч-при-президент/#more-1026).
Meanwhile, Mukhammed Azhigov, a social activist who has been involved with the now-shuttered “First Aid” assistance group reports that he is being followed by siloviki in what appears to be an attempt to intimidate him and anyone who might cooperate with him (fortanga.org/2020/02/aktivist-muhammad-azhigov-zayavil-o-slezhke-za-nim-so-storony-pravohranitelnyh-organov/ and kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/345995/).
But perhaps the saddest story from Ingushetia today wasn’t about the way its leaders make decisions or the fate of those who have protested against them but a report that the republic has allocated less than a quarter of the money needed to ensure pupils have the necessary textbooks this fall (capost.media/news/obrazovanie/deneg-net-v-ingushetii-detyam-ne-khvataet-uchebnikov/).
If the funds are not found, those attending schools in Ingushetia will have to do without the basic textbooks they need. It is perhaps significant that this report came not from the Ingush education ministry but rather from investigators looking in to the misuse of funds in the republic’s schools.