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12.12.2008

Russian neo-Nazis claim responsibility for beheading a Tajik migrant worker

   

The headless body of a man was found by police on 6 December in a Moscow region forest near the village of Zhabkino. The police report that the assailants used shock pistols to shoot at two workers from Tajikistan returning home from work. They then began beating them up. Only one managed to escape. 20-year-old Salekh Azizov’s body was thrown into a ravine. Later his head was found in a rubbish container near the premises of the Moscow district “Mozhaisk” Administration. Extremists calling themselves the “Fighting Organization of Russian Nationalists” have claimed responsibility. On 9 December their letter with a photograph of the beheaded Tajik appeared on several websites.

Galina Kozhevnikova, Deputy Director of the Sova Centre explains: “There were four addresses – ours, two addresses for “Komsomolskaya Pravda” [a newspaper] and the Moscow Human Rights Bureau. We believed it better not to make the letter public. It’s just that we and the Moscow Bureau have different approaches. We handed it all over on Monday to the law enforcement bodies investigating the crime. This is an ostentatious murder, probably timed to coincide with the transfer to the court of the case of the Borovikov-Voevodina group in St. Petersburg. Because it’s a significant group for neo-Nazis and calls itself the “Fighting Terrorist Organization”.  The people who sent us the letter signed themselves “Fighting Organization”, I don’t think that’s a coincidence. In reality that was aimed specifically at media coverage since they place the media and human rights organizations in a position where it’s impossible not to show the photo or not to talk about it, not to show the letter. And that way they get a huge advertisement and terrify masses of people watching television, listening to the radio, reading newspapers, because it’s known that in Moscow, in St. Petersburg, and in other cities, people are afraid to go out onto the street.”

The latest crime by ultra-nationalists is testing the authorities, the Chief Editor of the Civic Information Centre for National Policy Timur Muzeev believes. “I wouldn’t say that fascists who, there’s no need to pretend, are protected by the law enforcement agencies and some high-ranking officials, are in this way opposing the authorities. They’re checking how far they can go”. He adds that there is no clear protest against ultra-nationalists’ crimes in society. “Society itself doesn’t just tolerate, but sympathises with the actions of the ultra-nationalists. In this way people espousing extremely radical, aggressive and fascist views get a carte blanche from society for aggression against migrants, against people of a different nationality or religion.  It’s no secret that recently, when a school girl was killed in Moscow region and central channels, and many media outlets wrote with undisguised sympathy about the actions of the fascists who used this truly terrible crime to stir up nationalist views. At the same time, other murders (and at that time several schoolgirls were killed in the Moscow region, but on those occasions there was no information about any guest-workers, although the crimes were absolutely horrific) received absolutely no interest either from the press, or among the public, nobody called any meetings, nobody demanded that the perpetrators be punished.  Responsibility for the fact that this wave is being stirred up and that this crime took place lies to a large extent with the law enforcement agencies, and the press which effectively feel support for the criminals inciting inter-ethnic enmity.”

The Tajikistan Ambassador in Russia Abdulmazhib Dostiev states that he has approached the Ministry of Foreign Affairs demanding that the perpetrators be punished. The embassy points out that just in the first half of this year 39 Tajiks were killed in Russia.

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