Russia: UNHCR concerned by Moscow attacks
UNHCR is shocked and greatly concerned by the growing incidence and viciousness of racists attacks against foreigners - including many refugees and asylum seekers - in Moscow. A violent attack earlier this week by skinheads wielding metal bars left one man - a Russian citizen of Afghan origin - dead, and a second man - a Congolese asylum seeker - hospitalized from his injuries. Both victims worked as interpreters for the Moscow Regional Migration Service.
The brutal attacks create an environment of fear and insecurity for refugees and asylum seekers in Russia. Asylum seekers in Moscow have reported to UNHCR as many as 10 racist attacks per month over the past eight months, with several victims needing hospitalization following beatings. An Angolan asylum seeker died in early September following injuries sustained in a gang attack outside UNHCR's refugee reception centre in Moscow in late August.
UNHCR has asked the authorities to intervene immediately to increase security and prevent further attacks, and urges that the perpetrators be brought to justice.