An activist representing Russia’s ethnic Ingush people in Europe has said armed gunmen in masks abducted his nephew and forced him to speak out against his uncle before releasing him.
Ibragim Lyanov, who heads the European Ingush Association, told MBKh Media that his nephew Rustam Lyanov had been abducted and taken to an undisclosed location late on Sunday.
“They told my nephew that if he doesn’t say what they want, they’ll kill his younger brother and mother in the next room,” the opposition outlet quoted Lyanov as saying Monday.
Lyanov says he suspects his nephew’s captors have links to regional leader Yunus-Bek Yevkurov.
“They forced him to speak out against me on camera so that I didn’t say anything against Yevkurov,” he said.
Yevkurov, the head of Russia’s republic of Ingushetia since 2008, faced local protests last month after signing a controversial border-swap deal with neighboring Chechnya.
“Yevkurov forgot that I’m an Ingush, I still have Ingush methods. I’ll hold him to account in accordance with the laws of the Ingush mountains,” Lyanov warned.