Jailed, beaten Caucasus activist freed

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A leading North Caucasus rights activist detained and beaten by police after taking part in a demonstration was freed Saturday for health reasons, local authorities said.

Magomed Khazbiyev was arrested Wednesday by about 30 police and sentenced the following day to 10 days in jail for taking part in an unauthorised demonstration in Nazran, one of Ingushetia's main cities.

"The president and interior minister of Inguishetia have taken the decision to free him" after his parents approached Ingushetia's President Yunus-Bek Evkurov to warn him of their son's "chronic illness", a presidency spokesman said, quoted by the Ria Novosti news agency.

Members of Khazbiyev's family visited Thursday the detention centre where he was serving his "administrative" sentence to give him medicines but the centre refused, according to the family who publicised the detainees's poor health. The presidency spokesman said that Khazbiyev's parents had acknowledged, in agreement with the authorities, that "their son had taken part in an unauthorised demonstration and undertook that he would no longer participate in protests contravening the law."

Khazbiyev was detained along with his two brothers and several others after participating in a demonstration of 60 to 80 people who gathered to draw attention to kidnappings in Ingushetia.

© 2011 AFP

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