MOSCOW, January 12 (RIA Novosti) – Moscow police said on Saturday that they were looking into reports that a city journalist was forced to quit her job after supporting a migrant worker accused of attacking a teenager.
The journalist, Ediye Lyalina, used to work for city police’s own television studio, Petrovka-38, which produces shows for Moscow-based TV-Center and various police needs.
Lyalina, who was also a police officer, said on Friday that channel management forced her to quit after she signed a letter in support of the migrant worker, Bakhrom Khurromov (also identified as Khurramov), Rusnovosti.ru reported.
The managers cited orders from their superiors at the city police, she added.
Police initially said that Lyalina, 33, was fired over an old professional photo session that depicted her posing with male strippers and snorting fake “cocaine,” Lifenews.ru tabloid said.
Khurromov, who works as a street sweeper in a working-class suburb in Moscow’s south, was arrested last week after he threw a spade handle at a 12-year-old teenager, breaking his jaw and giving him concussion.
Though such incidents often trigger anti-migrant outcry in Russia, in this case, the situation played out the other way around, with local residents defending Khurromov in an open letter that cited his good reputation and enviable work ethic.
Khurromov, 35, said the teen had harassed him, an allegation that was echoed by his supporters. The boy’s reputation of a hooligan also lent weight to the sweeper’s story, as did a video uncovered on social networks depicting the boy brutally beating up another teenager.
Khurromov faces up to five years in prison for inflicting medium bodily harm. The victim’s mother recalled her complaint to police, who are, however, still required by law to proceed with the case.