FOREIGN STUDENTS VICTIMS OF HATE CRIMES IN RUSSIA -
Foreign students in the central Russian city of Voronezh rallied twice Tuesday in protest of an incident where a Peruvian student was murdered in a racist attack earlier this week. Two other students were beaten in the same assault.
FOREIGN STUDENTS VICTIMS OF HATE CRIMES IN RUSSIA - Oread Daily
Foreign students in the central Russian city of Voronezh rallied
twice Tuesday in protest of an incident where a Peruvian student was
murdered in a racist attack earlier this week. Two other students
were beaten in the same assault.
According to the Moscow News around noon on Tuesday, some 300
students set out from the Voronezh State (University) to the main
square in the town where they encircled a monument to Vladimir Lenin
for the rally.
The rally and another held the same day was organized by the
group "Nashi (Ours)."
"We want to draw attention of the general public to the problems of
racial and national discrimination," the organization's press centre
Prosecutors in Voronezh, a city of 1 million located 580 kilometers
south of Moscow, called the Sunday evening attack an act of
hooliganism, and the region's governor concurred that it could not
be considered a hate crime because a Russian student was also
injured. The Russian student suffered minor injuries but was not
The foreign students were walking with a Russian student near the
Olimpik Sports Complex on the outskirts of Voronezh at around 6 p.m.
Sunday when they were attacked by 15 to 20 young men carrying knives
and "blunt metal and wooden objects," Galina Gorshkova, a
spokeswoman for the Voronezh regional prosecutor's office, said
Killed was Peruvian national Enrique Arturo Angeles Hurtado, a first-
year student at the Voronezh State Architecture and Civil
Peruvian national, Alexander Manuel Navarro Ayala, 18, was
hospitalized with a concussion and was in stable condition Monday,
said Egorov Ramirez Hinojosa, consul-general at the Peruvian Embassy
in Moscow. He said Ayala had arrived in Voronezh about a week ago.
Ilyas Altavil, who lived in the same dormitory as Hurtado, said on
NTV television that the slain student had been considering leaving
because of fears for his safety. "He asked me: 'Is it too scary to
live here? Should I go back and live with my friends?'" Altavil said.
Sunday's attack was the latest in a series of apparently racially
motivated attacks in Voronezh. Over the past five years, 13 foreign
students have died in racially motivated slayings, said Gabriel
Kotchofa, president of the Foreign Students Association in Russia.
Human rights activists say the practice of classifying such crimes
as hooliganism rather than racially motivated has only encouraged an
increase in similar attacks. "These crimes are not punished
seriously, meaning the perpetrators face no consequences," Alexander
Brod, head of the Moscow Bureau for Human Rights told the Moscow
Brod said Voronezh was one of the top five cities in Russia in terms
of skinhead and extremist activity, along with Moscow, St.
Petersburg, Volgograd and Rostov-on-Don. "The difference is that in
cities like St. Petersburg, local authorities are trying to take
active measures to combat xenophobia," Brod said. "In Voronezh,
regional authorities are doing almost nothing."
Foreign students in Voronezh mounted a wave of protests last year
after the stabbing death of Amaro Antonio Limo, a 24-year-old
medical student from Guinea-Bissau. Limo was stabbed a few hundred
meters from his dormitory in central Voronezh on Feb. 21, 2004.
Police detained three suspects the next month, and they were
convicted in September 2004 and sentenced to prison terms ranging
from nine to 17 years.
According to a report from the Moscow Bureau for Human Rights, "The
level of xenophobia remained constantly high in the first half of
2005. According to different sociological surveys the percentage of
supporters of xenophobic viewpoints fluctuated between 50 and 60
percents. Among the nations - top targets of population's dislike
and hostility are, first of all, Chechens (14.8%), Azeri (5.1%),
Armenians (4.1%) and migrants from the Caucasus in general (6.0%).
Gypsies are also on the list (5.1%). Jews are mentioned less often
(2.5%)." There was no information in the report concerning foreign
There are about 100,000 foreign nationals studying in Russia's
colleges and universities. Students from the CIS countries — the
former Soviet republics — account for approximately one-third of
With attacks on foreign nationals on the rise across the country
many of them are considering leaving Russian out of fear for their
A 40-year-old Chinese national — a student at the St. Petersburg
Rimsky-Korsakov conservatoire — was severely beaten by unidentified
attackers recently. He was hospitalized with a head injury and brain
In a separate incident, an Angolan national — a former student of
the Agricultural University — was attacked and wounded in the
Last March students at Kuban State University in Krasnodar staged a
picked at the university urging authorities to protect them from
skinhead attacks. That protest was held in the wake of a March 26
attack on two foreign students of the Kuban University and Medical
Academy — nationals of Syria and Lebanon. Both suffered numerous
Arab students have also been attacked in St. Petersburg. Gannam
Mohamad, representative of the Union of Arab Students told the
Moscow Times earlier this year, "We no longer have any trust in the
law enforcement agencies, while protest rallies are, apparently,
useless." Sources: RIA-Novosti, Itar-Tass, Moscow Times, Xinhua,
To see the NEW Oread Daily Blog: http://oreadaily.blogspot.com/
To view the entire Oread Daily: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/oreadaily/
To subscribe to the Oread Daily: firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the Oread Daily: email@example.com