At least 2 face hooliganism charges over Moscow Anti-Migrant Riots
MOSCOW, October 15 (RIA Novosti) – Authorities in Moscow said Tuesday at least two people are facing charges of hooliganism over their involvement in anti-migrant riots that targeted a vegetable warehouse in the city’s south over the weekend.
City police chief Anatoly Yakunin said authorities are considering whether to keep the suspects in custody.
Hundreds of people were detained by police overnight Sunday and on Monday in response to the violence that erupted in the Biryulyovo neighborhood after protests over the fatal stabbing of a 25-year-old man earlier in the weekend spiraled out of control.
Around 70 people have to date been charged with minor administrative offenses.
Deputy city police chief Oleg Baranov had earlier Tuesday said three people – two Moscow residents and one person from the surrounding Moscow Region – were facing hooliganism charges.
Police gave no information about what specific role the suspects may have had in the unrest, which injured dozens, including six police officers.
The man suspected of the killing that triggered the violence was identified by police Tuesday as being from the former Soviet republic of Azerbaijan and remains at large.
According to the Moscow police, the suspected killer is also wanted for murder by authorities in Azerbaijan. However, a spokesman for Azerbaijan's Interior Ministry said the suspect was not wanted in the country and had no convictions or criminal record.
Baranov blamed the weekend's crowd violence on an unidentified group of young men, who he said were joined by discontented members of the public from the neighborhood.
“These were separate groups,” he said. “So far, we can’t say which district they came from.”
In a sign that authorities are scrambling to deal with an outpouring of discontent over local law enforcement authorities' handling of the weekend's events, the head of the city’s police said Tuesday that he had ordered the dismissal of two senior officers. One is responsible for the city’s southern districts and the other is the head of the Western Biryulyovo precinct.