Three American Chabad students allegedly were beaten by a police officer trying to extort money from them. The incident occurred when a policeman who was apparently drunk asked the students he met on the street for their identity papers, which they weren’t carrying because of Shabbat. Such checks are common in Moscow, especially with passers-by who look foreign to the police. Chabad officials, who didn’t report the incident to the press, later confirmed that it had taken place, but denied it was motivated by anti-Semitism.
April 2, 2004