Uzbekistan USAID Official Beaten by Ukrainian Skinheads

by Laurence on 3/3/2005 · 8 comments

Here’s a pop quiz: Which country is safer for African-American diplomats: the Ukraine of Viktor Yuschenko’s “Orange Revolution” or Islam Karimov’s Uzbekistan?

Think carefully.

Before answering, you might want to read this item from Embassy Row – The Washington Times

Skinhead attack
A black American diplomat yesterday said he was severely beaten by a white thugs in the Ukrainian capital in an unusual racial attack in a country still celebrating its newly won democratic freedoms.
Robert Simmons, who serves with the U.S. Agency for International Development in Uzbekistan, said the attack occurred Saturday night, as he was walking along a street with friends during a visit to Kiev. He told the Associated Press that he was beaten by more than a dozen men who had shaved heads and wore combat boots.
“I was attacked because I am African American. They did not touch my friends who were there with me, but were not black,” he told an AP reporter in the Uzbek capital, Tashkent.
“They beat me in turns. It looked like training for them.”
Police arrived after the attack by the skinheads, and the U.S. Embassy in Kiev said it will insist that the Ukrainian authorities find the assailants.
A spokeswoman for the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington said such attacks are rare.
“It is not common in Ukraine. We have a very friendly atmosphere for all foreign nationals,” said Iryna Bezverkha.
Ukrainians are working hard to improve their country’s government and human rights record after the December pro-democracy protests led to the election of reformist President Viktor Yushchenko.
In November, the U.S. Embassy warned of “racially motivated incidents against non-Caucasian foreigners, including American citizens of African and Asian descent.”
The embassy also said that blacks and Asians “may be subject to various types of harassment, such as being stopped on the street by both civilians and law enforcement officials.”


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{ 8 comments }

Stan LS March 4, 2005 at 10:41 am

What do governments have to do with anything, unless you’re implying that Viktor Yuschenko had some kind of a policy towards blacks?

Making any kind of a comparison based on one incident is ridiculous, anyway.. Why not mention the Al Qaeda linked Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan?

Laurence March 5, 2005 at 7:59 am

Well, governments are responsible for maintaining peace and stability–and I don’t know of any USAID officials beaten up in the street by the Al Qaeda linked Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan …

Stan LS March 5, 2005 at 3:27 pm

Alrighty then… Do hate crimes occur in US? European countries? You see my point?

Laurence March 6, 2005 at 11:34 am

No, I don’t see your point. Is the Yushenko government cracking down on neo-Nazis — or are they feeling empowered by anti-Russian sentiment unlocked in the “Orange revolution”?

Laurence March 6, 2005 at 11:39 am

Re skinheads in Ukraine, this opinion from the http://www.antirasistisk-senter.no/infobanken/ dokumenter/artikler/ukrainaeksth.html website might be of interest:

The dissolving of the USSR and Eastern block, growth of aggressive bourgeois nationalism by the most direct way have influenced a situation in the youth milieu. However removal of “iron curtain” as well has played an important role, in result of which on the territory of former USSR at full blessing new bourgeois powers, modern neo-fascist both Nazi political and aesthetic trends have massively begun to penetrate. In Ukraine this problem is especially actual in the last some years when fascists had an opportunity to become real political force. Movement of Nazi skinheads is one of the most dangerous tendencies.

Stan LS March 6, 2005 at 3:44 pm

Sure. All countries have their problems. Uzbekistan has its own. Has nothing to do with Karimov or Viktor Yuschenko.

Laurence March 6, 2005 at 4:07 pm

I beg to differ. The terrorist attacks in Uzbekistan are aimed at Karimov, who is vigorously fighting against them. It is an open question whether Yushenko will fight as hard against neo-Nazi skinheads.

Amir March 18, 2006 at 11:01 am

As an international student(middle eastern origen) who is studying in Ukraine for 4 years
completely agree with this.

Horrible racism exist in Ukraine against non-Caucasian foreigners,

I am completely disagree with spokeswoman of the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington(Iryna Bezverkha)I just would like to ask her that if it is easy for her and the Ukrainian government to hide this issue from foreign countries by denying what is going on in Ukraine,
is it possible for her to destroy the official documents which are reported to the embassies of CHINA ,KOREA,SERILANKA,UGANDA,INDIA,IRAN,LEBONAN and Turky from their citizens individually?
“It is not common in Ukraine. We have a very friendly atmosphere for all foreign nationals,” This sentence makes me to smile:) because it is a dirty lie.
Just in the camp of my University a chinese was murdered.A group of foreign students where walking home from Metro station in Kiev when suddenly a group of young people who was dressed like army soldiers brutality attacked to them and hurted them seriously.
2 chineese students of National SHEVCHENKO university(students of RUSSIAN language) were seriously injured by a bunch of Skean Heads in a park next to their hostle,one was in coma because his rib bone was broken and entered his lung ! 🙁
an Iranian student(18 y.o) of prepratory course of Medical University in Kiev was murdered in the park of University by 2 young (17-18 y.o)Skean heads(March 2004) .
IF YOU DONT BELIVE ME CANTACT THE EMBASSIES.

I should tell you that (unfortunately)due to some political reasons, Ukrainian government is secretly supporting them .

As darker skin you have more racism you will face in Ukraine.Being discriminated is completely normal if you are not white.

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