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Rising Number Of Tajik Migrants Killed In Russia

Tajik migrant workers in Russia
Tajik migrant workers in Russia
KHUDJAND, Tajikistan -- At least 300 labor migrants from Tajikistan's Sughd Province have died in Russia since January 1, 2008, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports.

Zainura Sharifova of the Regional Department of Employment Migration told RFE/RL that at least 140 Tajiks died in Russia of natural causes or in accidents and natural disasters.

She said that seven migrants from her region committed suicide, and some died in fights among themselves.

But the rest were either killed by Russian ultra-nationalist groups and skinheads, or their deaths have never been investigated.

Local journalist Jamshed Homidov, who writes about problems faced by Tajik migrants, said that the deaths in the past year of at least 38 Tajik laborers in Russia have never been fully investigated.

The number of Central Asians killed in the Russian Federation has risen in recent years. Tajikistan's Interior Ministry has established information centers in major Russian cities to assist Tajik citizens and help them defend their rights.