ADL Calls on Putin to Investigate Violent Attack on Jews at Moscow Synagogue
Update: On March 27, the Moscow City Court sentenced the man who attacked worshippers at the Chabad Bronnaya synagogue to 13 years in prison. Alexander Koptsev was found guilty of attempted murder on racist grounds for the stabbings of nine men at the synagogue.
New York, NY, January 11, 2006 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) called on the Russian government to launch an immediate investigation into today's brazen daylight attack at the Chabad Bronnaya synagogue in downtown Moscow, in which at least eight worshippers were wounded by a knife-wielding assailant who reportedly yelled, "I will kill Jews!"
Central Moscow Police arrested one man in connection with the attack on worshippers inside the synagogue. According to reports, the assailant had a shaved head and was heard shouting Nazi slogans as he carried out the assaults.
"We are shocked that this horrific attack inside a synagogue in the heart of Moscow could happen in today's Russia," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "We urge the Russian government to launch an immediate and thorough investigation, and to ensure that those responsible for the attack are brought to justice. It is important for Russia to send a clear message that it does not tolerate anti-Semitism in any form."
In a letter to President Vladimir Putin, ADL National Chair Barbara B. Balser and Mr. Foxman urged the Russian government to take immediate steps to ensure the security of the Jewish community, including stepped up patrols at Jewish institutions and places of worship, and "decisive action" against political parties and movements, media outlets and individuals who incite anti-Semitic sentiment.
"Unfortunately, Russia has a long history of anti-Semitism which we had hoped we would not see acted out today," said Mr. Foxman.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.