3 Oct 2018 18:33

Yabloko demands stopping persecution of leader of party's division in Ingushetia

MAGAS. Oct 3 (Interfax) - The party Yabloko is speaking in defense of Ruslan Mutsolgov, its representative in Ingushetia, who took part in street rallies, and calls for a public debate of the borders between Ingushetia and Chechnya.

"The party Yabloko demands that the persecution Ruslan Mutsolgov, leader of the party's division in Ingushetia, and the public activists protesting the transfer of land to Chechnya be stopped," the party's chairperson Emilia Slabunova said, according to the Yabloko official site.

The protests in Ingushetia was caused by the fact that the decision on changing the borders of the republic is being made without public debate, she said. Information on the agreements was hidden not only from citizens, but also from parliamentarians, she said.

"The secrecy of these agreements causes rumors and suspicions in society. The details of the agreement concluded by Yunus-Bek Yevkurov and Ramzan Kadyrov remain unclear," the party's leader said.

The use of repressive methods to fight protesters leads to an increase of mistrust in the authorities and unofficially confirms these suspicions, she said.

"We have to say that the regions of the Northern Caucasus are being deliberately left outside the unified legal field of the Russian Federation. Participation in protests in the region today is a threat not only to freedom, but also to life," Slabunova said.

The party believes it is unacceptable to reach behind-the-scenes agreements on changes of the borders of the regions of the Federation. Such prevocational methods of "settling" territorial disputes lead to a division between the peoples and create a dangerous precedent. She recalled the conflict between Ingushetia and North Ossetia over territories in the early 1990s. Slabunova said she believes transparency and broad public debate guarantee that the bloody conflicts will not occur again.

As regards the issue of the transfer of territories, she said she believes there is a need for public political debate and negotiations with deputies of the parliaments of Chechnya and Ingushetia, the president of Russia, the presidential envoy in the Northern Caucasus Federal District, the Russian minister on Northern Caucasus affairs, and both changers of the Russian parliament.

According to earlier reports, law enforcement officials searched the residence of Ruslan Mutsolgov, the head of the Yabloko division in Ingushetia. The activist's work laptop and mobile phone were seized. He was earlier fined by court 10,000 rubles for participating in an unauthorized rally in Ingushetia's capital Magas protesting the agreement on the establishment of the borders between Ingushetia and Chechnya.

On September 26, Yunus-Bek Yevkurov, the head of Ingushetia, and Ramzan Kadyrov, the head of Chechnya, signed an agreement establishing an administrative border between the regions, which had not been clearly determined since the collapse of the Checheno-Ingush Autonomous Social Socialist Republic in 1991. The document envisages exchange of territories of equal value.