Uzbek Rabbi – Killed


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A Jewish leader from the Uzbek capital Tashkent has died after what authorities said was a traffic accident, the Central Asian nation’s chief rabbi said Tuesday. Avraam Yagudaev was found Wednesday with “cranial wounds and in a coma,” and died Saturday night, chief rabbi Abe David Gurevich said. The Federation of Jewish Communities of the Commonwealth of Independent States called on Uzbek authorities to thoroughly investigate Yagudaev’s death amid skepticism about the official account. “We don’t know whether this tragedy was an accident or a premeditated murder possibly driven by anti-Semitism,” the federation’s head Levi Levaev said in a statement. However, the head of the Uzbek State Committee on Religious Affairs, Shoazim Minovarov, said the Jewish leader’s death had nothing to do with anti-Semitism. Yagudaev, 33, headed a small synagogue and taught at a local Jewish center. The synagogue belongs to Bukhara Jews, an ancient community that has lived in Central Asia for more than 2,000 years. Mass migration to Israel and the United States decimated the community which now consists of less than 2,000 people, Gurevich said. Some members of the Bukhara-Jewish community said the official explanation of the death was not convincing. “What happened to Yagudaev was no accident,” said Boris Nedosekov, the Uzbek head of Joint, an Israeli-American charity……