Wednesday, March 01, 2006


Murder of a Jew in Tashkent caused a public outcry

Murder of a Jew in Tashkent caused a public outcry

Ferghana.Ru news agency, REGNUM, 28.02.2006

The Seventh Channel, an Israeli newspaper in Russian, was the first to report the murder of Avron (Avraam) Yagudayev, chairman of the Tashkent community of Bukhara Jews. Yagudayev, 33, was found in the street not far from the Tashkent synagogue with serious injuries on February 22.

Jewish News Agency (JNA) later reported Yagudayev's death at the Republican Center of Neurosurgery on February 25. "Yagudayev died of serious cranial injuries sustained in an attack on him several days ago. Motives of the crime are not known at this point but the authorities are not rushing the investigation," JNA correspondent wrote.

JNA correspondent reported that the Tashkent Jewish community was thunderstruck because Yagudayev's death came only two weeks after assault and battery of Grigori Akilov, the son of Tamara Akilova, the leader of the Bukhara Jews Culture Center Simho. The young man, 18, is still in hospital.Jewish media outlets also report that some criminals whose identities were never established battered and injured Iosif Greenberg, 65. formerly of the Syrdarja Regional Hospital. Assailants were never found.

Some observers assume that Yagudayev fell victim of a hit-and-run accident.

Representatives of the Jewish community dismiss this hypothesis as misleading and maintain that Yagudayev clashed with the local authorities when they tried to commandeer the building of the Tashkent synagogue.Upper echelons of the CIS Federation of Jewish Communities broke silence on February 27. Federation President Lev Levayev urged the Uzbek authorities to run a diligent investigation and establish whether or not it had been a deliberate anti-Semitic action.

"Yagudayev, the father of four, has chaired the Tashkent community of Bukhara Jews for the last 4 years. His efforts to make Tashkent one of the centers of Jewish life earned him local Jews' respect," Levayev said.

Shoazim Minovarov, Chairman of the Uzbek Committee for Religious Affairs, told REGNUM news agency at the same time that "there are no Yagudayevs among chairmen of Jewish communities or among rabbis. There is only one Yagudayev I know of, and he is shoemaker at the city marketplace."

According to Minovarov, there are three synagogues in Tashkent nowadays and two of them belong to Bukhara Jews. "These religious communities have Boris Shimonov and Arkady Isakharov for chairmen and do not include an Avraam Yagudayev," the official said."

Members of the Jewish community are not worried or anything because Jews have been living on the territory of Uzbekistan since the time out of mind - without any conflicts or clashes with the population, much less with the authorities," Minovarov explained.

Minovarov: There is no anti-Semitism in Uzbekistan. Uzbek Jews live in harmony with other ethnic groups in the republic.In the meantime, observers comments that Yagudayev was murdered when representatives of other religious minorities are regularly harassed in other regions of Uzbekistan and particularly in Dzhizak. Ferghana.Ru news agency reported one such episode the other day [see the material "A handicapped person released by the Dzhizak prosecutor's office is arrested again"].

MigNews reports indicate that Yagudayev was a lecturer at the Pharmaceutical College in Tashkent. He taught Jewish traditions at the school established by organization Joint and was a rabbi of the local synagogue (this latter post hereditary, assumed when his father passed away).

According to MigNews, Yagudayev was jumped when he was walking to the synagogue for the evening prayer. His family initiated a search when he failed to return home.

Israeli diplomats demand a thorough investigation of the anti-Semitic crime from city fathers. The police claim, however, that it was a banal hold-up gone bad (Yagudayev's leather coat was missing but not money or valuables).

thanks to "S. Alfassa ("

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