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15.08.2005

A New Vietnam Victim of Petersburg Skinheads

A New Vietnam Victim of Petersburg Skinheads

The northern capital witnessed a new great murder. Last Wednesday night a 20-year-old Vietnamese was beaten to death by a teenage gang in Petrogradsky district.
It happened between 10 and 11 PM in the public garden in the junction of ulitsa Rentgena and Ploschad Lva Tolstogo. A gang of about 16-18 teenagers clothed in black violently assaulted the young man. They beat him and stabbed him with knives causing him to die on the spot. Yesterday at about 9 AM police officers apprehended 15 teenagers whose guilt is now being investigated. The police say the main challenge now is to identify the range of people who could be at the scene of the murder or in immediate proximity when the crime was committed. The experts cannot now state the affiliation of any person apprehended with Skinhead movement. The Prosecutor’s office of Petrogradsky district started a criminal case of murder of 20-year-old Vietnam citizen, first year student of St-Petersburg Polytechnic University. At night, having learnt about the accident foreign students started a spontaneous walkout on the initiative of the victim’s brother, who is himself a Polytechnic student. It ended after the students laid their claims to the police officers and city administration representatives who came to the place.
The students were indignant with the University management which takes no care to provide sufficient street lighting in the places where student dormitories and universities are situated. Petersburg administration representatives promised to discuss the problem with the rectors. When the meeting ended some students went to their classes and the rest to their dormitories. As a protest Vietnamese students decided to skip lectures.
It is not the first case of such barbarous murder on the ground of national hostility in Petersburg.
Notwithstanding the amount of crimes committed on this ground in late years there, criminal cases on article 282 (kindling of national, racial or religious hostility) are brought in very seldom and reluctantly. After Nikolai Girenko’s murder his colleagues often expressed anxiety these crimes would be much more difficult to qualify. And what concerns regular cases of desecration of Jewish cemeteries, swastikas and graffiti calling for non-Slavic nations extermination on the walls of a great number of streets in Russia’s ‘cultural capital’, they are so frequent that appear to be a sad routine.
Kirill Ovelin, Saint-Petersburg.

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