Disappearances on the rise in Ingushetia: rights group

18th August 2010, Comments 0 comments

The number of unsolved disappearances has increased in Ingushetia, a volatile republic bordering Chechnya, with four new cases in the past month, non-governmental organisation Memorial said Wednesday.

On July 19, 20-year-old Maksherip Khashegulgov went missing in the Sunzha region, in southeast Ingushetia, after calling his family from a shop to inform them he was coming home.

Five days later Sultan Gazdiev, also 20, went missing after driving away from his home in Karabulak.

Then on July 29, Ibraguim Mutsolgov, 24, disappeared from a mosque in his village in the Nazran region.

Timur Aliev, head of Memorial's Ingushetia wing, said that according to the authorities these young men have joined rebel forces, still active in Ingushetia, Chechnya and other neighbouring regions.

Memorial did not rule out this "official hypothesis" but observed that in at least one case, the theory of abduction was proven correct.

Magomed Aushev, 34, went missing near Nazran at the end of July and his mutilated body was found eight days later near a local river.

Aushev and his brother Ruslan were briefly interrogated by police in May because his recently sold car had been used in an attack by rebels.

Memorial, a leading defender of human rights in Russia and the Caucasus in particular, has denounced thousands of abductions since the Russian army's intervention in Chechnya in 1994.

Mutilated bodies have been discovered and many cases were traced to security forces in the region.

© 2010 AFP

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