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Student Arrested In Moscow Over Killing Of Armenian --> People pass by the portrait of Armenian Vagan Abramyants in Moscow (April 24, 2006) (epa) September 13, 2006 -- Police in Moscow have detained a man suspected of killing an Armenian student.

Russian media reports say the suspect is a student at a police school.

A lawyer for the victim's family said the suspect, identified as Nikita Senyukov, is accused of a murder motivated by ethnic hatred.

Vigen Abramyants, a 17-year-old student at a Moscow university, was stabbed in a Moscow subway station in April.

(ITAR-TASS, Ekho Moskvy)

Moscow Takes On Extremism
Kamlizhan Kalandarov in RFE/RL's Moscow studio (RFE/RL)

COMBATTING THE HATRED: RFE/RL's Russian Service on August 21 spoke with Kamilzhan Kalandarov, a member of the Public Chamber and a leader of the NGO Our Russia. (Read the complete interview in Russian). Kalandarov spoke about efforts the authorities are making to combat the wave of hate crimes sweeping Russia.

Kalandarov: Xenophobia today threatens the national interests of Russia. But I agree that the authorities are making good progress in this matter. First, the order on withdrawing Russian forces from Chechnya was recently signed. That is a big plus because the source of extremism, the sources of Caucasus-phobia are partly in Chechnya. Islamophobia grew dramatically after the first Chechen war. Next, the Public Chamber was created. We have a subcommission on nationalities issues and a subcommission that drafts projects related to xenophobia. This work is ongoing, which is why I think the authorities are really interested in making sure this problem does not go any further.
We should also mention the courts. I think that in many cases judges themselves hold [xenophobic] views. Second, we have not created normal conditions for protecting witnesses. People are not physically protected from various types of influence. Judges are afraid and witnesses are afraid. Because they have to keep living in that city. This defenselessness leads to cases not being pursued and to not-guilty verdicts being issued.


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