Africans ‘under siege’ in Moscow

Posted by admin on Aug 31st, 2009

BBC, Monday, 31 August 2009

A woman walks past graffiti reading “We love you!” with a swastika mocking migrants. Many African students in Moscow are afraid to go outside Nearly 60% of black and African people living in Russia’s capital Moscow have been physically assaulted in racially motivated attacks, says a new study. Africans working or studying in the city live in constant fear of attack, according to the report by the Moscow Protestant Chaplaincy.

A quarter of 200 people surveyed said they had been assaulted more than once. Some 80% had been verbally abused.

But the number of assaults was down from the MPC’s last survey in 2002.

The report’s clear conclusion was that Africans living in Russia exist in a state of virtual siege, says the BBC’s Rupert Wingfield Hayes in Moscow.

Extreme violence

Many of the African respondents said they:

* Avoided using the Moscow metro
* Were also careful to avoid crowded public places
* Did not go out on Russian national holidays or on days when there were football matches

Many of the attacks on Africans were pre-meditated and extremely violent, the report found.

One Nigerian migrant interviewed by the BBC had been repeatedly stabbed in the back and then shot.

Another man said his attacker had attempted to remove his scalp.

Officially there are some 10,000 Africans living in Moscow, but far more are believed to live there illegally – many as economic migrants.

The Moscow Protestant Chaplaincy is an English-speaking interdenominational Christian congregation that has ministered to Moscow’s foreign community since 1962.

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