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Amnesty Demands Investigation of Ingush Activist's Arrest

Amnesty International has deplored the July 25 detention and beating of human rights activist Zurab Tsechoyev in Ingushetia, and demanded Russian officials thoroughly investigate the incident.

According to reports, around 50 armed men, thought to be Russian federal law enforcement officers, arrived in three armored personnel carriers and three minibuses, at Tsechoyev's home in the village of Troitskaya, in Ingushetia's Sunzha Raion, at about 6 a.m. Tsechoyev was made to lie on the ground before being forced through the house at gunpoint while the officers conducted a search. The search was reportedly carried out without a warrant and without independent witnesses. During the search, two mobile phones and a computer were seized. The officers then placed Tsechoyev in one of the armored personnel carriers and drove him away, without informing his family where they were taking him.

Several hours later, a passerby reportedly found Tsechoyev, badly beaten, at the side of a road near the village of Ekazhevo, near the Ingushetian capital, Magas. The two phones and computer had been left with him. He was later hospitalized, with multiple injuries and bruises.

Tsechoyev is alleged to have been taken to the building of the Federal Security Service (FSB) in Magas, where he was allegedly beaten. During the beating, the officers referred to his work at the nongovernmental organization MAShR, and accused him of being involved in passing a list of names and other details of law enforcement officials, allegedly involved in organizing abductions and killings in Ingushetia, to the opposition website, which recently published the list. Tsechoyev denied any involvement.

MAShR reports on and campaigns against serious human rights violations in Ingushetia, in particular against disappearances and abductions. Tsechoyev works as the editor of the organization's website.