The Chronicle of Higher Education
Tuesday, March 27, 2001
Stabbing Death of Tunisian Student Angers Other Foreign Students in Russia
By BRYON MACWILLIAMS
Foreign students blocked access on Friday to the regional administration building in the Russian city of Tver' to protest what they believe are racially motivated attacks against non-Russians. In one such incident last week, a medical student from Tunisia was stabbed to death.
The protesting students disbanded without incident after a governor's aide said that authorities in Tver', about 100 miles northwest of Moscow, were vigorously investigating the killing of Katar Fehmi.
"We want them to do something to stop these racist attacks," Ashish Dadwal, a medical student from India, told the Reuters news agency by telephone.
Mr. Dadwal, who added that he had been attacked twice over the past two years, at one point sustaining a broken leg, said hundreds of students participated. The local police, however, placed the number at dozens.
Police could not provide details about the killing.
Police and university officials have scheduled a meeting Tuesday to discuss the safety of foreign students.
The city supports academies of medicine and agriculture, two universities, and four institutes that focus on a range of specialties, including business, ecology, law, and light industry.
Foreign students assert that racial discrimination is tolerated throughout the country, and that foreign students from Africa and Asia are frequent targets of attacks.