MOSCOW, January 11 (RIA Novosti) – An Egyptian national who desecrated the Eternal Flame in southern Russia should be given the maximum possible punishment, a Russian MP said on Friday.
The Egyptian, a 29-year-old postgraduate student at Volgograd Medical Univeristy whose name has not been revealed, urinated on the Eternal Flame at the Heroes Alley in memory to the heroes of the Civil War (1917-1921) and the Great Patriotic War (1941-1945) in the city of Volgograd on New Year’s night.
Vladimir Gutenev, a State Duma deputy and member of the ruling United Russia party, said the incident was “a blasphemy”, adding that the act could not possibly be tolerated.
“In any country, in any culture graves are sacred and inviolable,” Gutenev said.
“I believe that a citizen of Egypt, a country with a very ancient culture… should be punished to the maximum extent of the law.”
That should serve as a warning to others, he stressed.
The Egyptian was detained by a group of passersby who turned him over to police. He put up a fight, smashing a resident’s nose and cutting his eyebrow open.
The Egyptian said he was sorry for what he did and that he had drunk too much alcohol with him Russian friends.
A city magistrate sentenced the Egyptian student to 10 days of administrative arrest for “petty hooliganism” but now is he facing more serious charges: desecration of the grave and causing light bodily harm, which carries a prison sentence of up to five years.