Murderer of Ingush Oppositionist Gets 2 Years House Arrest

Magomed Yevloyev. Source: Ingushetia.orgIn a grave setback for relatives of slain Ingush oppositionist Magomed Yevloyev, the Ingush High Court decided on Tuesday to significantly lighten the sentence of the oppositionist’s killer.

Ibragim Yevloyev, of no relation to his victim, was the former police officer sentenced late last year to two years in a penal colony for what was ruled to be the “accidental” killing of Magomed Yevloyev.

Relatives of the slain opposition leader had filed a complaint on December 11, 2009, demanding that the court give Yevloyev a harsher sentence. They maintain that Yevloyev was murdered intentionally, and his father, Yakhya Yevloyev, has been particularly outspoken. In a December interview with, Yakhya asserted that the light sentence had been a result of pressure on the judge from former Internal Minister Musa Medov, an uncle of the accused officer.

“Judge Tumgoyev admitted to me that Medov called and asked him not to punish his nephew,” Yakhya said at the time.

Instead, the Ingush High Court decided on Tuesday to swap the part of the Russian criminal article that Yevloyev was found guilty of for another part of the same article. Now, instead of being officially guilty of “negligent homicide owing to the improper discharge by a person of his professional duties,” he is only guilty of “negligent homicide.” The change results in a much lighter sentence – two years of house arrest.

Human rights groups have stood with Magomed Yevloyev’s relatives since the murder in mid-2008 in maintaining that the killing was intentional and the criminal investigation a sham. The family’s lawyer, Musa Pliyev, has been attempting to initiate proceedings in the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. In light of a chain of murders of Ingush oppositionists that followed Yevloyev’s killing, Pliyev said he is convinced that authorities have issued “a license to shoot down other human rights advocates.”

Magomed Yevloyev was the founder and owner of, an opposition website based in Russia’s volatile Caucasian republic of the same name. On August 31, 2008, Yevloyev wound up by coincidence on the same airplane as Murat Zyazikov, Ingushetia’s notoriously corrupt then-president. A quarrel allegedly broke out, and, upon landing, Yevloyev was detained and dragged into a car. His personal guards attempted to chase the motorcade, but Magomed had already been shot in the temple inside the police vehicle.

The website was then taken over by Ingush oppositionist Maksharip Aushev, who was murdered by unknown assailants last October.