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20 Sep, 2007 04:53

Ingushetia calms down after protests: presidential envoy

The situation in the southern republic of Ingushetia has stabilized, according to Dmitry Kozak, the Russian President's Envoy to the Southern Federal District.

Mr Kozak said protesters taking part in a demonstration in the town of Nazran had dispersed and were heading home. This was also confirmed by Shahman Abdulatov from the Memorial Human Rights Centre.

“The Aushev brothers went to the site of the meeting in Nazran. Around 150 people gathered there today. They formally thanked everyone for taking part in the meeting, for support, and the journalists – for covering the events. They said that thanks to joint efforts the brothers have been released. Now that the release has been confirmed, the people will go home and the family will try to find out who abducted the brothers and what may be behind the kidnapping,” informed Shahman Abdulatov.

Local residents had taken to the streets, demanding the release of two brothers from Ingushetia who had been abducted.

Reports say between 150 and 500 persons took part. A relative of one of the brothers told the Interfax-Yug agency that employees of the Ingush law-enforcement agencies had carried out the abduction in Chechnya.

The local Minister of Internal Affairs came to the protest to listen to the participants' demands.

However, the demonstrators tried to beat him up and he had to flee. The protestors pelted policemen with stones and wounded several of them.

Dmitry Kozak said the Prosecutor General's investigative committee was in charge of the case.

He said different versions of the event – from actual abduction to a staged disappearance – were being investigated.