Attack on Russian human rights activist Bakhrom Khamroyev
Bakhrom Khamroyev, who works for the Russian human rights organization Memorial, was attacked on Monday, 6 June 2011 when returning home. Memorial reports that he was coming home only to pick up his things before leaving for Murmansk to meet with Yusup Kaspmakhunov, an Uzbek national and the first person in Russia to be convicted of membership of Hizb-ut-Takhrir. Kaspmakhunov was supposed to be released but it transpired a few days ago that a court hearing had been scheduled for 8 June to decide whether he would be extradited to Uzbekistan. Kaspmakhunov, fearing that he would be sent to Uzbekistan without waiting for the court hearing, had asked Khamroyev to meet him at the gates of the penal colony.
The Memorial Human Rights Centre, the Human Rights Institute and the European Centre for Human Rights Defence have prepared Kaspmakhunov’s application to the European Court of Human Rights. The case has received wide publicity both in Russia and beyond.
During the evening of 6 June, walking up to the entrance to his block, Bakhrom noticed a stranger who, on seeing him, began phoning somebody. Bakhrom walked into the entrance. Between the first and second floors, near the post boxes, a second man was standing, clearing waiting for Khamroyev. A man wearing leather gloves got out of the lift higher up, and without saying anything began brutally hitting and kicking Bakhrom. The man standing near the post boxes joined in. One sprayed gas in his face. At present Bakhrom cannot open his eyes, and his face is burning. After the assailants left, he managed to get up to his flat and his wife called an ambulance.
The Memorial Human Rights Centre believes that the attack on Bakhrom Khamroyev was carefully planned in advance, with an ambush organized.
It is possible that the attack was linked with the coming trip to Murmansk.
In December last year, there was another attack on Khamroyev. A criminal investigation was initiated but nobody was charged. Memorial says that it is known that FSB [Security Service] officials were involved in the December attack.