From correspondents in St Petersburg | April 13, 2009
AN Azeri immigrant in Russia’s northern city of Saint Petersburg has been charged with hiring hit men to kill his 21-year-old daughter for wearing a mini-skirt, police said today.
The man’s arrest follows the detention last week of two other citizens of Azerbaijan, a majority Muslim state in the Caucasus, who confessed to murdering the girl, a university medical student.
“They admitted to being paid 100,000 rubles ($4140) by the girl’s father. They said he wanted to punish his daughter for flouting national traditions and wearing a mini-skirt,” a police source told said today.
The girl was abducted on the street in Russia’s second city on March 8, taken to the outskirts of Saint Petersburg and then shot twice in the head, the source said.
Russia has experienced a revival of conservative religious tradition since the fall of the Soviet Union both within its Russian Orthodox and large Muslim communities.
The Saint Petersburg Mosque – the largest and northernmost in Europe when it was built in 1913 – now counts mostly migrants from ex-Soviet Azerbaijan among its worshippers.