Khursheda Sultonova (center) with her family (Courtesy Photo)
MOSCOW, March 30, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- The St. Petersburg City Court today sentenced seven teenagers to prison sentences ranging between 1 1/2 years and 5 1/2 years for the 2004 murder of a 9-year-old Tajik girl.
On March 22, a St. Petersburg jury found the defendants guilty of “hooliganism” and cleared another defendant of murder. The ruling shocked the victim’s family and sparked an outcry among human rights campaigners.
Khursheda Sultanova was killed on February 9, 2004 as she was walking with her father and 11-year-old cousin in a St. Petersburg street. A group of about 12 young men attacked them with baseball bats, chains, and knives, and stabbed the girl to death.