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Last Updated: Thursday, 30 September, 2004, 23:07 GMT 00:07 UK
Russia jails killers of African
African student in Russia (image from November 2003, after a blaze at a Moscow student hostel)
Thousands of Africans study each year at Russian colleges
A court in the south Russian city of Voronezh has sentenced three men to lengthy prison terms for the murder of an African medical student.

They were convicted of both murdering Guinea-Bissau student Amaru Antonio Lima, 24, and fomenting racial hatred.

Two men in their early twenties were jailed for 10 and 17 years while the third, aged 16, was given nine.

It was the first trial for racially motivated murder in Voronezh which has a large foreign student community.

However, at least five murders in the city since 1999 are thought to have been race-related.

Many foreign students attend induction courses in the Russian language in Voronezh before moving to other colleges across the country.

The tradition goes back to Communist times when students from developing countries were encouraged to study in the then-USSR.

Student protest

The three killers repeatedly beat Mr Lima, then stabbed him as he lay on the ground during the attack in February, the prosecution said.

Map of Voronezh
Foreign students in the city reacted to news of the murder with a mass boycott of classes for a week as they demanded guarantees of personal safety.

Yevgeny Shishlov, 22, received 17 years for his part in the killing while Roman Ledenyov, 20, got 10 years.

Both men, who worked as loaders for a metals firm, were once members of an rightwing extremist party, Russian National Unity.

The 16-year-old, described in court only as a law student, was given nine years in a juvenile prison. Racist literature was found in the flats of all three, the prosecution said.

Heavy fines were also imposed on the three, with the money levied due to be paid to the victim's father, the Russian news agency Interfax reports.

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10 Feb 04  |  Europe
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16 Jul 02  |  Europe

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