Monday, September 12, 2005

The Violence Continues

The Moscow Times reports on last week's attack on a Chechen pop singer and her son:
A Chechen pop singer-songwriter and her son have been beaten in Moscow in what prosecutors are saying was a racially motivated attack.

Liza Umarova and her son Murad, 15, were attacked on their way to the metro by a group of four drunken men, aged between 25 and 30, on Filyovskaya Ulitsa at about 8:15 p.m. last Tuesday, an unidentified official at the City Prosecutor's Office said, RIA-Novosti reported.

Umarova and her son sustained numerous contusions in the attack but initially decided against reporting the incident to the police, RIA-Novosti said.

The City Prosecutor's Office said Friday that it was treating the attack as racially motivated.

The police are sometimes reluctant to investigate racially motivated attacks or attacks against Russian citizens of non-Slavic descent, with officers siding with assailants rather than with the victims of attacks. Calls to the City Prosecutor's Office went unanswered Friday.

"You will not live in this country," one of the attackers told Umarova, she said in an interview with Gazeta newspaper. She said the attacker gave her "the word of an officer."

Umarova is a popular singer-songwriter whose repertoire includes Chechen songs calling for peace and reconciliation in the North Caucasus. She moved to Moscow from Chechnya six years ago. Umarova makes a living in Moscow as a bookseller and rarely gives concerts, Gazeta reported.

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