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Archive for Monday, October 26, 2009

Opposition figure killed in hail of bullets

October 26, 2009

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— A popular opposition figure in Russia’s restive Ingushetia province was gunned down Sunday morning in the latest killing of a government critic in the North Caucasus, prompting outrage from human rights groups and raising fears of further violence in the region.

Maksharip Aushev, a businessman who had led mass protests against alleged abuses by the government’s security forces, was driving on a major highway in the neighboring province of Kabardino-Balkaria when a passing vehicle sprayed his car with more than 60 bullets, authorities said. The attack also seriously wounded a passenger.

Colleagues condemned the slaying as an attempt to silence voices critical of the authorities, and said it sent an especially chilling message because Aushev held a post on a human rights council established by Moscow and enjoyed the support of Yunus-Bek Yevkurov, the local governor appointed by President Dmitry Medvedev last year.

Yevkurov has reached out to human rights activists and the opposition, offering them a degree of protection, but Aushev’s killing suggests that he, and by extension the Kremlin, may be losing control over the overlapping law enforcement agencies fighting a growing Islamist insurgency in the region.

Aushev had accused the security forces of conducting an indiscriminate campaign of abductions, torture and killings in Ingushetia that had only strengthened the rebels.

Comments

Shane Garrett 5 years, 2 months ago

"losing control over the overlapping law enforcement agencies fighting a growing Islamist insurgency in the region." So, do we score this a plus for the religion of peace? or a minus for democracy in former USSR?

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