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June 8, 2006 -- Moscow prosecutors are investigating the alleged involvement of police officers in the beating of Tajik students at a university hostel in the Russian capital.
"Yesterday, at approximately 20:00, a man knocked on the door of a room at the student dormitory," prosecutor's officer spokesman Sergei Marchenko told journalists today. "A university student -- a citizen of Tajikistan -- opened the door. The visitor showed an official identification card and introduced himself as a policeman. Note that this was not a standard [police] identification card. After him, about six people barged into the room and began beating six Tajik university students who were in the room using a tire wrench, belts, and their feet."
According to Russian media reports, the purported police officers also took the students' money and mobile phones and warned them to keep quiet.
At least one of the students was reported hospitalized.
According to some media reports, the district police chief apologized for the incident. He also reportedly promised that all those involved will be punished.
Another report, however, quotes an unidentified police spokesman as saying the police had simply intervened in a fight among the students.
Russia has recently seen an increasing number of attacks on non-Russians.
(Ekho Moskvy, Interfax, Gazeta.ru)
Yusuf Sultonov, whose 9-year-old daughter was beaten and stabbed to death in St. Petersburg on February 9, 2004 (TASS)
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