Russians on trial for beating Chinese students
Updated: 2005-10-12 17:06
Two Russians who allegedly attacked two Chinese students in a western Russian
city went on trial Wednesday, but prosecutors were not charging the two with
racial crimes, a court official said.
The opening of the trial in
Voronezh, about 475 kilometers (300 miles) south of Moscow, came just three days
after a mob attacked a Spanish student and two Peruvian students in the city,
killing one of the Peruvians.
A Voronezh Central Court secretary said
prosecutors were charging the two with assault and other crimes for the June 15
attack, which left the Chinese students with severe injuries.
Prosecutors could not immediately be reached for comment.
Tuesday, several hundred foreign students, mostly from African and Asian
countries, demonstrated in Voronezh to protest the Peruvian student's death and
urging regional authorities to protect foreigners from attacks.
prosecutors have opened a criminal investigation on suspicion of murder and
hooliganism in connection with the attack. Under Russian law, hooliganism brings
much milder punishment than crimes shown to be racially motivated.
Rights activists have accused officials of ignoring apparently racist
motives in attacks by skinheads and other extremists in Voronezh and elsewhere