Murder prompts security review

November 4, 2005

International relations officers from Russian universities are to address student security after last month's murder of a Peruvian student in an apparently racist attack in Voronezh.

Andrei Fursenko, the Education Minister, has also ordered a review of security at universities that teach foreign students. He said the death of Enrique Arturo Angelis Urtado, a first-year at Voronezh State Architecture and Civil Engineering University, raised serious questions about the suitability for foreigners of some higher-education institutions.

Lena Lenskaya, assistant director (education) at the British Council in Moscow and a former Deputy Education Minister, said the incidence of attacks on foreign students seemed to be on the rise in Russia, especially in Voronezh, which has been a centre for foreign students since Soviet times.

A spokeswoman for the British Embassy consular department said: "As far as we are aware there has been no change to travel advice to Russia as a result of the attack on the student."

Mr Urtado died after being beaten and stabbed by a group of up to 20 Russian youths while walking with two friends near the city's Olympic Stadium complex on October 9. Another Peruvian and a Spanish student were treated in hospital after the attack.

It was one of several attacks against foreigners this year in Voronezh, a university city south of Moscow.

The city's police, who have been criticised for treating such attacks as hooliganism, which carries lighter sentences than crimes classified as racist, said that four suspects had been arrested on charges of murder and hooliganism.

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