On January 30, just four days after heavily-armed police in Ingushetia clashed with demonstrators attempting to hold a protest demonstration in Nazran against Murat Zyazikov, the republic’s president (see below), one of the protest’s organizers, Magomed Yevloev, founder and owner of the independent Ingushetiya.ru website, confirmed that the Ingush authorities are seeking to arrest him. “Zyazikov wants to isolate me and thinks that by isolating me he will be able to close the Ingushetiya.ru site and end the protest mood of the people of Ingushetia, who are discontented with corruption and the situation in the republic,” Newsru.com quoted him as telling REN TV by telephone. Yevloev also said that police in Moscow had searched his apartment there on January 30 and that Ingushetia’s Interior Ministry had sent a “convoy” to the Russian capital to bring him back to Nazran.
Ingushetiya.ru reported on January 30 that the investigations department of the federal Investigative Committee’s branch for Ingushetia is acting on behalf of Zyazikov, who, according to the website, is demanding that it “do whatever it can to contrive a reason to arrest” Yevloev and Maksharip Aushev, the well-known Ingush businessman who co-organized the January 26 protest. Aushev had been taken into custody by police on January 21 but was released just a few hours later after protesters went to the streets to demand his release (Chechnya Weekly, January 24). According to Newsru.com, Aushev and Yevloev are now being sought by the authorities as “suspects in mass riots.”
In addition to being the proprietor of Ingushetiya.ru and a co-organizer of the January 26 protest in Nazran, Yevloev is a lawyer who organized the “I Didn’t Vote” campaign in Ingushetia, which has collected statements from more than 90,000 of the republic’s inhabitants—54 percent of its eligible voters—declaring that they did not vote in State Duma elections last December 2 (Eurasia Daily Monitor, January 11). The republican authorities claimed that more than 99 percent of the republic’s eligible voters went to the polls on December 2 (Chechnya Weekly, December 6, 2007).
Reuters on January 31 quoted Yevloev as saying that Ingushetiya.ru was closed. He accused the authorities of hacking into the site to try and silence opposition. “This is the action of the Ingush authorities,” he told Reuters. “They want to silence us and all the people of Ingushetia, but they will not succeed.”