NALCHIK, Russia -- The head of a nongovernmental organization in the Russian republic of Kabardino-Balkaria was severely beaten by unknown assailants in the capital, Nalchik, RFE/RL's Russian and North Caucasus services report.
Zamir Shukhov, deputy chairman of the NGO Khase, told RFE/RL that five assailants attacked Ibragim Yaganov with metal bars and pipes when he and his wife were returning home on July 19.
Yaganov was hospitalized with a concussion, head injuries, and numerous other wounds.
Shukhov told RFE/RL the attack on Yaganov was probably connected with his social and political activities.
"We were planning to hold a roundtable with the participation of activists and leaders of the [Kabardino-Balkaria] republic's Kabardian, Balkar, Russian, and Cossack ethnic groups to discuss social issues," he said. "It is very early to draw any conclusions at this point, but the attackers seem to be professionals."
Yaganov, an ethnic Kabardian himself, has repeatedly criticized the republic's predominantly Kabardian leadership. He was subjected to a similar attack in December 2009, the perpetrators of which were never found.
A Nalchik-based human rights center has addressed an open letter to the republic's prosecutor-general urging him to take the investigation of the attack under his personal control and inform the public of its findings.
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