Ingush Activist Detained Over Violence At Rallies Against Chechnya Border Deal

MAGAS, Russia -- Authorities in Russia's North Caucasus region of Ingushetia have detained an activist for questioning about violence committed during unsanctioned rallies in March against a controversial border deal with Russia's neighboring region of Chechnya.

Ruslan Mutsolgov, the head of the opposition Yabloko party's branch in Ingushetia, said on May 14 that police in the regional capital Magas detained Rizvan Ozdoyev overnight.

Mustsolgov said authorities have accused Ozdoyev of attacking a police officer during the rallies in late March.

Ozdoyev's detention came three days after authorities in Belarus deported another Ingush activist, Ismail Nalgiyev, to Russia at Moscow's request.

Nalgiyev had also taken part in the March rallies.

On March 26, an authorized demonstration was held in Magas to protest a deal reached to resolve the Ingush-Chechen border dispute. Protesters called for the resignation of Ingushetia's head Yunus-Bek Yevkurov.

The demonstration continued the following day without authorities’ permission and was violently dispersed by police.

More than 50 people were detained and charges were filed against at least 10 people.

Protests began in Ingushetia last September after Yevkurov and the leader of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, signed the deal behind closed doors.

Yevkurov and Kadyrov said the agreement was approved by the parliaments of both republics several days later, despite protests against what some say was the illegal transfer of territory to Chechnya.

With reporting by MKhD Media