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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Critical Ingush News Site Under Fire

Prosecutors said Thursday they have opened a criminal case against Ingushetiya.ru, a web site known for its investigations of corruption among Ingush authorities, for incitement of ethnic hatred.

The case stems from an article published on the site by Ingush activist Khadzhimurat Kostoyev, Ingushetiya.ru said.

Magomed Yevloyev, director of Ingushetiya.ru, said authorities had opened the case in response to the site's muckraking journalism. "It is 100 percent connected, in my opinion," he said.

The case, which Moscow's Kuntsevo District Prosecutor's Office opened July 30, results from a complaint by former North Ossetian leader Alexander Dzasokhov, who now represents the republic in the Federation Council, he said.

Dzasokhov complained to prosecutors that Kostoyev's article violated the law against inciting ethnic hatred, Yevloyev said. The article was itself a response to an earlier article in a North Ossetian newspaper about the disputed Prigorodny district that the web site said "insulted the Ingush people."

North Ossetia and Ingushetia fought a brief war over the district in 1992 and tensions have remained high ever since.

Yevloyev said the article in the North Ossetian newspaper "clearly incited ethnic hatred," but prosecutors had not taken any interest in it. "It's clear that they are taking a very one-sided position," he said.

A spokeswoman for Moscow city prosecutors said she could not comment on the case. A statement by prosecutors about the case said the investigation was ongoing, without providing details.

The case raised questions about press freedoms in the region, as Yevloyev said he believed Ingush President Murat Zyazikov had offered support to Dzasokhov's initiative and was determined to shut down the site, which has often been critical of him.

Phone calls to Zyazikov's spokesman were not answered.