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Zaur Tutov, culture minister in the Russian republic of Kabardino-Balkaria (file photo) (ITAR-TASS)
April 4, 2006 -- Russian authorities have detained one suspect in connection with a recent attack on the cultural minister of Russia's Kabardino-Balkaria republic.
Prosecutors questioned another three people but did not take them into custody.
Zaur Tutov, who is also a celebrated singer, was attacked in Moscow on April 1 by several men, who he says shouted racist abuse at him. He suffered concussion and a fractured jaw. He remains in hospital.
Russian prosecutors have classified the attack as a hate crime rather than hooliganism, drawing praise from Russia's human rights ombudsman, Vladimir Lukin.
There has been a surge in racially motivated attacks in Russia, many directed against people from the Caucasus and Central Asia. Human rights critics accuse the Russian authorities of failing to treat such attacks seriously.
(RIA Novosti, Interfax)
Yusuf Sultonov, whose 9-year-old daughter was beaten and stabbed to death in St. Petersburg on February 9, 2004 (TASS)
EXTREMISM ASCENDANT: More than half of Russians have xenophobic views, according to a report published in August 2005. In the report, rights groups say that -- despite progress in some areas -- racism, xenophobia, and anti-Semitism remain rife in Russia. But what worries watchdogs most are recent moves by nationalist-patriotic movements to form paramilitary groups....(more)
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