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Policeman kills 19-year old Georgian in Moscow

By Mzia Kupunia
Thursday, November 26
Georgian officials have described the murder of a Georgian teenager in Moscow as an “ethnic murder”.

Three Russian policemen, Anvar Ibragimov, Aleksey Chrenikov and Viktor Kuznetsov, beat 19-year-old Eduard Ghurtskaia to death on November 23 in Moscow, Interfax has reported. It is believed that the policemen were drunk and they were detained shortly after the incident. According to the Russian Prosecutor’s Office, all three have been fired. Later two of the policemen were released, but Anvar Ibragimov, who remains in detention, will be charged on Wednesday, Russian media has reported.

“We remember the period when on the orders of the Russian authorities Georgians [living in Russia] were being deported from the country and Georgian children were being expelled from schools,” Parliament Speaker David Bakradze told journalists on Tuesday. “Along with the drunk policemen, the responsibility for Ghurtskaia’s death is on those Russian politicians who have been presenting Georgia as an enemy,” the Parliament Speaker said.

Russian-based Georgian singer Diana Ghurtskaia has expressed her “indignation” over the murder, demanding “strict” punishment of the perpetrators. “This causes me indignation, no other feeling. It is hard to think what will happen in the future, when such things are happening now,” Ghurtskaia said. “The police, who should defend us, kill people. I think all of this has happened on nationality grounds,” the singer suggested.

Ghurtskaia said that two months before the incident she had sent a letter to Russian Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliev about the problem of the nationalistic inclinations of Russian policemen. The Georgian Foreign Ministry has also commented on the murder case, saying that it was not a “surprise”. “Such actions by the 'law enforcers' of the country which conducted an undeclared war against Georgia, began a mass deportation of Georgians from Russia in 2006 and then entered this sovereign state’s territory and conducted several waves of ethnic cleansing there should not be a surprise,” the Foreign Ministry stated.

Georgian Refugees and Resettlement Minister Koba Subeliani said that the Ministry will cover the expense of transporting Ghurtskaia’s body to Tbilisi and his funeral. Ghurtskhaia was an IDP from Abkhazia and was working on a building site in Moscow.

After the incident human rights groups called for urgent reforms in the Russian police system, Interfax reported on Wednesday. “The police is seriously ill. There is a need for cardinal reform,” Interfax quoted Ludmila Alexeeva, the head of Moscow’s Helsinki Group, as saying.