Pro-Russian leader wants death penalty in Muslim Ingushetia
Pro-Russian leader of Ingushetia said the death penalty "must be restored" in Muslim region of Caucasus to eliminate the "fighters".
The Kremlin chose Yunus-Bek Yevkurov for Ingushetia's top job in October last year to pacify the tiny region which is believed to affected the pro-independent insurgency of its neighbour Chechnya.
"There is nothing special to boast of," Yevkurov, 46, told a news conference held in the region's capital and dedicated to the first year of his presidency.
"Everyone had hoped that Yevkurov would come and it would all be settled. But, as we see, this has not happened."
One of the most populous regions in the mainly Muslim north Caucasus, Ingushetia borders Chechnya which declared independency after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 but was attacked by Russian forces in two wars since the mid-1990s.
Still low-level insurgency continues in Muslim states controlled by Russia.
Several senior officials have been recently killed, along with several Ingush human rights campaigners in the events Russian ruling was accused of being responsible.
Human rights groups have repeatedly accused the authorities of serious abuses including house burning, extra-judicial killings, torture and illegal punishment.
"I am for the death penalty to be restored," Yevkurov said. "The person who committed a premeditated murder of another human being, must be destroyed," he added.
Russia's constitutional Court on Monday began deliberating on whether to restore capital punishment from next year. Russia suspended carrying out death sentences under a 1996 moratorium, but capital punishment is still in the nation's criminal code.
Yevkurov made clear the door was not shut for those rebels who decided to turn in weapons and start a new life.
"A single person persuaded to lead a peaceful life -- provided he really wants a peaceful life -- is more precious to me than 40 or 50 destroyed rebels," he said. "It would be a great victory."
Reuters Güncelleme Tarihi: 11 Kasım 2009, 08:56