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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Teenagers Held for Racist Attack on Ethiopian




Police have arrested two teenagers accused of beating up an Ethiopian man in a metro underpass in northern Moscow after calling him a "monkey," officials said Friday.


The racially motivated attack is one of several that have occurred in the city in recent months, including the beating of a black U.S. Marine by skinheads at an outdoor CD market in May. The attacks have prompted some embassies to warn their citizens to exercise caution on Moscow streets.


The Ethiopian, identified by police as Yihun Nibret Shiferau, 36, a graduate of Moscow State University, was walking through the underpass at the Babushkinskaya metro station at 9:30 p.m. Sunday when he was assaulted by two teenagers, police said.


Calling Shiferau a monkey, they punched him repeatedly before running away, police said. Shiferau called metro police and was taken to the nearest first-aid center, where he was treated for chest injuries and a bruised left cheekbone.


His suspected attackers, ages 16 and 17, both students at a technical school, were detained two days later. The case is still under investigation, but if found guilty of hooliganism the teenagers face up to four years in prison.


Officials at the Ethiopian Embassy in Moscow said Friday that they were unaware of the incident.


There are about 400 Ethiopian citizens in Moscow, about half of them students.


Shiferau could not be reached at the university dormitory where he told police he was living. An administrator at the dormitory said Shiferau had recently moved out.