18 Jan 2018 14:55

Human rights ombudsman demands people who set fire to Memorial office in Ingushetia be found, punished

VOLOGDA. Jan 18 (Interfax) - The setting fire to the Ingush office of the human rights center Memorial is an attack on the development of civilized society and democracy, and those responsible for it must be found and punished, Russian Human Rights Commissioner Tatyana Moskalkova said.

"The arson committed at the office is an absolutely unprecedented and ugly incident, and everything possible needs to be done to find those responsible and punish them, because setting fires or causing [other] damage to activities of human rights defenders means trampling on democracy and the development of a civilized society," Moskalkova told journalists.

"We should be prepared for a civilized dialogue, no matter how uncomfortable the issues human rights defenders bring up. The authorities should counter the use of such barbaric methods," she said.

As reported, the fire occurred in the office of Memorial's Ingush branch in Nazran early on the morning of January 17. No one was hurt, but some appliances and furniture were destroyed. Masked attackers committed the arson that caused the fire, Memorial employees said. Human rights commissioner in Ingushetia Dzhambulat Ozdoyev urged the heads of law-enforcement agencies to take special charge of the investigation and punish the guilty.

A criminal case on charges of deliberately destroying or damaging property by means of arson was opened.