Bärbel Kofler, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office, issued the following statement today (18 October):
I am deeply concerned about what Oleg Kozlovsky, a staff member of Amnesty International has reported on his abduction in Ingushetia and his mock execution. I call on the Russian authorities to investigate this intimidation of a human rights defender and – should this investigation corroborate Oleg Kozlovsky’s story – strongly condemn it. The perpetrators must then be identified and called to account before a court of law. It is high time that the Russian Government demonstrated that it supports compliance with human rights.
According to an Amnesty International report, on the night of 6 October Oleg Kozlovsky was lured into a car, abducted and maltreated, while his family was threatened.
Ingushetia is a Russian constituent republic in the Northern Caucasus with around 488,000 inhabitants. It was established after the former Chechen-Ingush Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic was divided in 1991. Since then, there have been unresolved border issues between the successor republics Chechnya and Ingushetia. A recently concluded agreement on settling the problem provoked protests. Kozlovsky stated that he was in Ingushetia to observe these demonstrations.