The Office of the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation has taken the cases on recent incidents of racial attacks in Russia under its control. Groups of aggressive young men have recently attacked and beaten producer of the NTV network Elkhan Mirzoyev, a national of the Azerbaijan republic, and the Minister for Culture of the Kabardino-Balkaria republic, Zaur Tutov. The Office of the Prosecutor General demanded the qualification of the two cases be changed to racial hatred crimes. The case has been now re-filed on a different article of the Russian Federation Penal Code – “causing severe bodily damage on the base of inter-ethnic, racial, religious hatred or hostility.”
The article stipulates up to five years in prison although no one has been arrested or detained on the above-mentioned cases yet.
NTV producer Elkhan Mirzoyev was attacked and beaten on Monday night in the Moscow metro. According to the victim, he was traveling in a train in the metro when several young men entered a carriage at one of the stations. All the men were drinking beer. One of them, with a very short haircut, dressed in camouflage uniform and black leather army boots, sat next to Mirzoyev (a national of Azerbaijan ) and started explaining him the reason why he should not be staying in Moscow any longer.
“We were talking for quite a time, the train made two stop during our conversation. To be more precise, he was trying to explain me why I should not live in Russia. Another guy poured beer down on my head. I hit him immediately and they all attacked me in an instant,” Elkhan Mirzoyev said.
The men dragged Mirzoyev out of the train on the platform of one of the central stations and started beating him with beer bottles. The fight continued for about one minute. The assaulters returned to the train and left. One of the metro employees called an ambulance. Mirzoyev was hospitalized with numerous injuries, although the doctors said that his life was out of danger.
Russian skinheads attacked another public figure in Moscow on April 1st at about 9:30 p.m. Moscow time. The victim, Zaur Tutov, the Minister for Culture of the Kabardino-Balkaria Republic , was attacked in the Eastern district of Moscow. Tutov and his wife were leaving the folk dance studio when several young men attacked him. The minister was hospitalized with jaw fracture and brain concussion.
Zaur Tutov’s relatives say that he had been attacked by nationalists. The minister’s daughter, who attended the studio the same night to have a class of folk dancing, said that the assaulters were screaming nationalist slogans during the attack. “There was an impression that they had been waiting for us to go out of the building,” the girl said. The girl added that she and her friend left the studio earlier and saw a group of 15 or 20 aggressive young men outside. The men, wielding broken beer bottles, rushed into the entrance hall of the studio following other dancers and used chairs in the fight.
The movement of Russian skinheads counts some 50,000 people. “Thousands of people suffer from manifestations of xenophobia in the country that defeated Nazism every year,” writer Dmitry Lipskerov said. Neo-fascists killed 26 people last year in Russia , added he. The writer called upon the Russian deputies to inspect the Russian laws and prohibit the existence of Neo-fascist groups.
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov
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