Racists kill Vietnamese student in Russia
ST PETERSBURG - Racists stabbed a 20-year-old Vietnamese student to death in the city of St. Petersburg, police said on Thursday, in the latest violence blamed on extreme Russian nationalists.
His death was at least the fourth racist murder in Russia this year. A nine-year-old Tajik girl was stabbed to death in broad daylight in St Petersburg in February.
A student from Guinea-Bissau and an Afghan trader were killed in other cities.
Police said Vu Anh Tuan's body was found with at least five knife wounds after a group of 15 to 20 youths attacked him late on Wednesday. Prosecutors said 15 people had been detained.
Around 100 Vietnamese students gathered at the murder scene to protest against the killing and demand protection from the police against racist attacks, which are linked to a growing number of fascist and racist organisations.
"We came to study in this country, which we thought was a friend of Vietnam. We do not have drunken fights, we do not steal, we do not sell drugs and we have the right to protection from bandits," said one demonstrator.
Students who witnessed the stabbing said the attackers wore semi-military uniform, leather jackets and boots, and had shaven heads.
According to some estimates, St Petersburg has as many as 20,000 racist extremists.
Police admit they have a problem in tackling the extremists, but officers are themselves often implicated in assaults on immigrants from Central Asia, who tend to be Muslim and darker skinned than most Russians.
Reuters - October 14, 2004.