UARU
What Media Get Wrong About Identity of St. Petersburg's Bomber
9 April, 2017

What You Need To Know:

✅ The explosions happened on the St. Petersburg (Russia) metro on April 3rd. 14 people died and around 50 were injured.

✅ The suicide bomber has been identified as 22-year-old Akbarzhon Dzhalilov from Kyrgyzstan, who obtained Russian citizenship in 2011.

✅ "Russian media went to xenophobia against Asian people and started to label this person as a terrorist without having any proof," said Bektour Iskender, the co-founder of "Kloop".

✅ Kyrgyz media outlet "Kloop" went delved deeper into the investigation surroudning Akbarzhon Dzhalilov and found out that his relatives were kept for more than 2 days being interrogated illegally.

Following the explosions on the St. Petersburg metro on April 3rd, Russian authorities have identified the bomber. It appears to have been carried out by a 22-year-old Kyrgyzstani man, Akbarzhon Dzhalilov.

Read More: Attack on St. Petersburg: 5 Facts to Know

"Russia immediately started to label him as a terrorist without the proof," said Bektour Iskender, the co-founder of "Kloop", a leading independent journalism outlet, based in Kyrgystan. They published a report on the perpetrator, Akbarzhon Dzhalilov.

In addition to this, Iskender emphasizes that the Security Service and police treatment of the bomber's relatives has been under-reported. "Kloop" found out that his uncles were interrogated for almost 24 hours which, according to the law, should not have taken so long.

"The younger brother of Dzhalilov is still under 18 but he spent 2 and half days in the building of security service being interrogated, without having a lawyer or someone adult near him," Bektour told Hromadske.

He further commented that, unfortunately, this kind of thing often happens in Kyrgyzstan. One human rights activist is sentenced to life impisonment based on fabricated accusations, in Bektour's opinion.

"When something like that happens, and there is at least a suspect from some country – in this case it's Kyrgystan – the whole population starts suffering from the crazy stigma," said the journalist.

Bektour remembers how in January 2017, when the attack on the night club in Istanbul happened, police named the suspect as a citizen of Kyrgyzstan. However, it was proven that the Turkish security service were wrong. "So there is already a precedent for wrongly naming someone from my country as a terrorist," he summarises.

Bektour Iskender, the co-founder of "Kloop", talked to Hromadske on April 10th, 2017, in Kyiv, Ukraine.

Watch the full Sunday Show 09/04/2017 here