02 October 2007

Remember Satender

Three months ago Satender Singh was murdered. Last week two dozen community activists in Sacramento filed into the courtroom to witness the preliminary hearing in the case of Aleksandr Shevchenko, one of the suspects in Singh's murder. The other suspect, Andrei Vusik, is still on the lam in Russia.

The activists wore buttons declaring, "Remember Satender!" It's an important message as the case has received almost no media coverage in the past two months.

Of course, the Singh case just another example of the hate crimes that occur every day in the United States and across the globe. I'm not sure why this case strikes so close to home for me. In part, I can see myself being murdered exactly as Singh was. The sense is heightened in Moscow with the omnipresent spectre of ethnic violence--hard stares, implied threats and whispered insults.

It's easy to imagine myself being murdered and quickly forgotten like one of the dozens of victims of ethnic violence who are beaten and swept out of the news every month. Just last week it was reported that a young Azeri was burned to death by skinheads in Moscow. There are similar reports every week.

But let's remember Satender. Contact the Moscow bureau of the FBI and demand that they pressure the Russian authorities to locate and extradite Vusik. If not for the memory of Satender, for those whose safety is still endangered, and for those other hundreds who have died and been forgotten.