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Uzbek President Islam Karimov
Photo: AP
Photo: Shlomi Palas
Chief Rabbi David Gurevich

Tashkent: Chief rabbi’s secretary found murdered

Uzbek Jewish community believes Karina Rivka Loiper and her mother Svetlana, who were found murdered in their apartment, were killed for nationalistic motives

The 20-year-old secretary of the Chief Rabbi of Central Asia, Karina Rivka Loiper, and her mother Svetlana Loiper were found dead Thursday in their Tashkent apartment.

 

Loiper had studied at the Jewish school Or Avner in the Uzbek capital. Karina was known as active in the Tashkent Jewish community and in recent months began working as regional Chief Rabbi Abe David Gurevich.

 

In a conversation with Ynet, Tal Rabina, spokesperson for the Union of Councils for Jews in the Former Soviet Union, said: “Last Monday, Karina came to Rabbi Gurevich’s class, and that is actually the last time we had contact with her. The next day and the day following Karina didn’t come to work. The Rabbi’s office attempted to call her but there was no answer. They thought maybe she didn’t feel well.”

 

'It was clearly murder'

 

According to Rabina, by Thursday the Rabbi’s office began to worry about Karina. “When Karina didn’t come to the class in which scholarships were handed out, suspicions were aroused that something happened to her. Members of the Jewish community called the Tashkent police to find out what was wrong,” he said.

 

In the evening hours police arrived at the Loiper home and broke into the apartment to find a chilling scene. “The mother’s body was found first in the living room, lifeless. Karina was found in a crumpled position, which led police to understand that she had tried to hide in one of the rooms. It was clearly murder,” Rabina said. Tashkent police were offering no further details regarding the circumstances of the case, he added.

 

On Thursday night President of the Union of Jewish Communities of former soviet countries, Lev Leviev, demanded Uzbekistan’s President Islam Karimov order an intensive investigation to find the murderers. Leviev refused to be satisfied with the estimation that the murders were criminally motivated.

 

This is not the first time members of Tashkent’s Jewish community, which numbers some 30,000, have been targeted. In July 2004 the Islamic

Jihad attacked Jewish sites in the city, including the Israeli embassy. In that attack two Uzbek workers and a police officer were killed. In May 2005 a man wearing an unseasonably long overcoat was shot to death by police after he approached the Israeli embassy yelling “Allahu Akbar.” A dummy bomb was found on his body. In February 2006 Avraham Hacohen Yagodiev, one of the leaders of the Jewish community, was murdered in the Tashkent market.

 


פרסום ראשון: 06.09.06, 00:37
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