Friday, October 30, 2020

Moscow Patriarch, Russian Federation Mufti Urged to Help Free Ingush Political Prisoners

Paul Goble

            Staunton, October 28 – In response to the increasing repression of Moscow and Magas, Magomed Mutsolgov, the head of the Coordinating Council of NGOs of the Republic of Ingushetia, has appealed to Moscow Patriarch Kirill and Mufti Ravil Gaynutdin of the Muslim Spiritual Directorate (MSD) to help free Ingush political prisoners.

            Mutsolgov details the arrests and punishments that the authorities in Ingushetia have meted out against some 300 protesters over the last two years and the continuing detention of 3o leaders who have been identified by a variety of human rights groups as political prisoners (

            In addition, the Ingush rights activist and blogger says, the authorities have subjected to various kinds of pressure “about 40 social organizations and commercial structures, the majority of whom have ceased to exist,” including the republic muftiate, the Union of Teips of the Ingush People, and the Ingush Committee of National Unity.

            Moreover, many protesters have been fired from their jobs and some have even been forced to flee the republic or even the Russian Federation. Some of these, Mutsolgov continues, remain on the federal government’s most wanted list.

            Moscow removed the first authors of this repression, republic head Yunus-Bek Yevkurov and presidential plenipotentiary for the North Caucasus, Aleksandr Matovnikov, but it has replaced them with officials who have continued their policies.

            Because of this pattern, the Ingush rights activist says, he is appealing to Russia’s religious leaders, Orthodox Christian and Muslim, to work to help secure the release of the leaders of the Ingush protests, many of whom have been behind bars for almost two years and deserve support for humanitarian reasons as well as political ones.

            Indicative of the continuing repression Mutsolgov points to were new acts of intimidation by the counter-extremist center in Ingushetia against the Council of Teips of the Republic of Ingushetia, a group that has continued to function under a new name but that the powers that be wanted shuttered (

            Indeed, the government of Makhmud-Ali Kalimatov has become so much like its predecessor that one commentator says the Ministry for Foreign Relations, Nationality Policy, Press and Information should be renamed “the Ministry for Abolishing the Law ‘On Rehabilitating Repressed Peoples’ and Ending the resettlement of IDPs, and Drug Control” (право-источника-власти/).

            Such an unwieldy name, M.-R. Pliyev continues, may seem ridiculous but in fact it is far more honest about what Magas is using the ministry to do than its current name.

            Also today, on the anniversary of the 1992 Prigorodny War, activists released new details on the costs of that conflict for the Ingush nation: 457 Ingush were wounded, and 192 are still MIAs, not to mention those who were killed or forced to flee (

            It should be remembered that the Ingush government recently liquidated the primary group in the republic that has been trying to track down those still missing in action from that conflict of 28 years ago.


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