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Prominent Human Rights Activist Beaten In Moscow

Bakhrom Hamroev (undated)
Bakhrom Hamroev (undated)
MOSCOW/PRAGUE -- A prominent Russian human rights activist of Uzbek origin has been attacked and beaten in his Moscow apartment block, RFE/RL's Uzbek Service reports.

Bakhrom Hamroev, who works for the Moscow-based human rights organization Memorial, was hospitalized after the June 6 attack and Moscow police have launched an investigation into the incident.

Hamroev told RFE/RL by phone that the attack appears to have been planned. He said when he entered his apartment block at around 8 p.m. local time, he saw a man in the corridor who immediately started talking into a cell phone.

"I pressed the button to call the elevator to go up to my apartment on the fifth floor and I saw that the elevator was at that moment on the sixth floor. When the elevator came, a man came out and attacked me," Hamroev said. He said the man in the corridor also assaulted him and the two sprayed him with pepper spray.

Hamroev said he was scheduled to fly that night to the northwestern city of Murmansk. He planned to meet there with Yusuf Kosimokhunov, an Uzbek who is due to be released from a local jail on June 9 after serving a sentence of several years for his membership of the banned Islamic organization Hizb ut-Tahrir.

Hamroev said the Russian authorities plan to extradite Kosimokhunov to Uzbekistan instead of releasing him from jail.

The incident marks the second time Hamroev has been assaulted in the last six months. Police failed to apprehend those responsible for the earlier attack in December.

Hamroev's colleague at Memorial, Vitaly Ponomaryov, told RFE/RL he believes both attacks were connected with Hamroev's human rights activities.

Hamroev is a Russian citizen.

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