Muslim Public Figure Killed in Moscow

A leading Muslim public figure has been killed in Moscow, a police source told RIA Novosti on Wednesday.

Metin Mekhtiev, 33, the former head of international department of the Islamic Cultural Center of Russia, was found dead early on Tuesday near downtown Moscow’s Belorussky train terminal, the source said.

“He had stab wounds on the neck and face,” he added.

According to preliminary data, Mekhtiev – an Azerbaijani national – was killed as he was was waiting for the arrival of his wife and two-month-old son.

Mekhtiev was also active in social work with students and youths from the Caucasus region, the website said.

The head of Moscow’s Islamic Cultural Centre, Abdul-Wahid Niyazov, slammed the murder as “brutal, barbaric and medieval.”

He also said a gang of five young people, including a young woman, had attacked Mekhtiev.

Police have given no details on a possible motive, but bloggers have speculated on a link to far-right nationalists.

Russia has seen a dramatic rise in nationalist sentiments since the break-up of the Soviet Union.

Racial violence led to the deaths of 21 people of “non-Slavic appearance” in 2011, a decline from 42 in 2010, according to the Sova organization, which monitors race-hate attacks in Russia.


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