Мне все равно,
что вы обо мне думаете:
я о вас думаю
то же самое.
Коко Шанель

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№ 165 (3315)14.10.2006
A much publicized case
Two truths about one accident

Adventures of Africans in Russia

All Russian mass-media published the information about assault and battery of an African student in Kazan in this week. The Office of Public Prosecutor of Vakhitovskiy district inquires into the matter, which is unusual in Tatarstan, so it is at the centre of public attention now. The Evening Kazan correspondent met two main figures in this scandalous case: a 20-year old member of "Russian national unity" movement Leonid Kislinskiy and a 21-year old African student of Kazan University Abubakrin Mahaman Ture. Both have their own truth. And their truths are as different, as the color of their skin...

"We were running from the black man, he pursued us"

It has to be mentioned that the accident in the Lyadskoi garden is the already the second case in the last three month, the members of the "Russian national unity" (RNU) are involved in. Vakhitovskiy Department of Internal Affairs is still been investigating the case about aggression against mystical goths in the Arski cemetery, then the aggression by RNU members against an African student followed. The RNU members themselves do not acknowledge their guilt, and the claims of the law machinery are answered with pungent articles on their web-site: "Kazan copes join hands with Satanists", "Militia’s arbitrariness in Kazan".

- "It`s true. For we did not beat any blacks, and did not want to do it, the case in Lyadskoi garden is a provocation", - Leonid Kislinskiy, a brother-in-arms (they do not like the word "member" in RNU) told me. I met him in another park of our city. - "The existing of the oppositional movement RNU in Tatarstan gives no rest to local official structures; we are a thorn in their flesh. They want to show how brave they are struggling with extremists in our republic.

Kislinskiy tells that he and two candidates for membership in the movement were walking through the Lyadskoi garden about 10 a.m. on the 6th of October.

- "We suddenly saw a black guy, who was crying something and made his way towards us. I had a foreboding. Our leader Alexander Barkashev warned us about such provocations, he said that one should avoid them, otherwise one could come in a jail. The black came nearer and did not stop crying, one of the candidates made a bit of a noise and we went on walking very quickly, one could say, we ran away. He followed us. While we were walking over Galaktionov street two cars stopped near us, some people got out of them (one man showed an identity card of Federal Security Service of Russia), showed us a bat, they said we used it to beat the African and made us stand with our faces toward the wall. Then they asked the black guy: "Did they beat you?" He said that we had not beaten him, yet in 2.5 hours, after an investigation team came, he said that we had. They probably made him say so...

Leonid Kislinskiy asserts that aggression against other races and nationalities is not the main goal of RNU, as many people think.

- "Our main goal is agitation and propaganda. We have nothing to do with fascists. And our symbol, so called "kolovrat" has nothing to do with Hitler, it is and Old Russian sign, a hero of folk Russian legends Evpatiy Kolovrat wore it. Have you ever heard about him?.. Yet even if we imagine that I would like to beat an African, do you think I would do it in a public place, near the buildings of Ministry of Internal Affairs and Department of Internal Affairs? I am not so stupid! Especially because my wife is pregnant. By the way, if I were guilty, I would not talk to you now.

Leonid was able to meet Evening Kazan correspondent and to talk to him, for Vakhitovskiy district court did not grant a petition of the Office of Public Prosecutors about commitment of Kislinskiy. The writ says that "the presented evidences contain no information which gives reasons to suspect Kislinskiy L. P." The evidences show that Kislinski L.P. has never been convicted, is positively characterized, goes to Tupolev’s Kazan state technical university, is a 4th year student of the radio electronics faculty, works, is married…"

- "No, Kislinskiy does not study here anymore", - a deputy director of the radio electronics institute of the Kazan state technical university Yuri Fetisov told us. - "He was sent down in the spring, not for his political views, but for his poor progress.

"Kazan is not a paradise for foreigners"

- Would you tell me how can I find an African student who was beaten by nationalists? - I asked in the department of receiving and education of foreign citizens of the international department of the Kazan state university.

- "Why "beaten"! How do you, journalists, find your news?" - Nelya Khusnutdinova, a worker of the department, asked me. - Our student is doing very well, no one has beaten him. "We have spoken to him, he said that some hooligans were going to beat him, yet they did not manage to do it…"

The workers of the department are worried just for the 3rd year student of the biological faculty can not attend all lectures: he is too often called by the security services, and a new system of grading of the students does not allow not attending the studies.

On the biological faculty a young Mali student is characterized very well. They say he is a perfect student, intelligent, modest, kind, and takes hard an unpleasant incident, which happened on the 6th of October.

It was easier to find the African student in the Vakhitovskiy Office of Public Prosecutors, than at the university. After a routine confrontation I asked Abubakrin Mahaman Ture, who allowed me to call him Abu:

- So, did they beat you?

- Sure, they did! - The foreigner answered in good Russian language. - I do not understand why they deny it. If they are RNU members, they have to be proud that they have beaten a colored person.

Complaining ("I have told it so many times already!"), Abu told me what happened on Friday in Lyadskoi garden.

- At about 10 a.m. I was walking to the university on my usual way through the park. Other students from Africa showed me this way, we always try to be in crowded places. Yet it was a rainy day, and there were no people in the park, but three guys, wearing black. They were sitting on a bench. I wanted to pass it quickly, but they called me: "Wait! Or are you a coward?" They caught up with me and then one of them held my hands, and the others beat my back. They said: "Go away from here, you, black one, we do not want to see you here!" I managed to run away. As I glanced back at them, I saw that they were raising their hands and crying something out. I was scared. And then they caught me again and started to offend and beat me.

Abu showed me, how he defended against the aggressors, protecting his head with his hands, for as he fondly explained, "the face is very important for me".

The African student feels lucky for there was a worker of Tatarstan department of Federal Security Service of Russia in the park, and his offenders were arrested at once, otherwise everything could turn much worse. A medical examination showed that the blows did not do any harm to Mali student’s health.

- "You know, I think that everyone has his right to love and to hate somebody, yet why beating?" - Abu wonders. - "I started my study in Voronezh, I learned Russian there, yet after well-known events it was too frightful there, so I decided to leave. They say that Kazan is a paradise for foreigners. Yet it turned out that it is not so calm here too. Some of my friends were already attacked; one African student was beaten in the WC of university’s polyclinics. We never feel safe here. Especially in winter we try to minimize the time we spend on the street. They say, that we are attacked more often in winter, for we run worse then… I can not understand why we are offended? We did not do any harm to your land, only the best students can come from Mali to Russia, it is an honor!"

The African Abu confessed to me that these sad thoughts give him no rest, he has even wrote his thoughts down on a paper in one of the hardest moments: "Just tell me, what is my fault, is it my another look?.. I hope for your understanding very much".

The RNU brother-in-arms Leonid Kislinskiy also says that he hopes for understanding. The question is: who will be understood better in Kazan?



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