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Russian Communist Party Removes Controversial Anti-Immigration Drawing From Website

Russia's Communist Party has removed from its website a drawing of a woman wearing a Muslim head covering and veil and holding a severed human head, after the illustration to a call for tougher anti-immigration policies prompted widespread criticism and a call for an investigation Thursday.

The picture that the Moscow branch of the Communist Party (KPRF) placed on the party's website was a reference to the arrest this week of a woman from Uzbekistan who carried the severed head of a child on a Moscow street, shouting “Allahu Akbar.”

The woman said in a videotaped testimony that she killed the girl in retaliation for Russia's air strikes in Syria.

The drawing that Moscow's Communists used to illustrate their call for tough anti-migration measures amounted to “inciting ethnic conflicts,” State Duma lawmaker from the ruling United Russia party Oleg Pakholkov was quoted Thursday by Kommersant daily as saying.

Pakholkov, who sits on the Duma's committee for the Commonwealth of Independent States affairs, appealed to Prosecutor General Yury Chaika to investigate the Communists' post, Kommerant reported.

“I'm not even saying anything about the Communists' double standards — they are in favor of restoring the Soviet Union, but are against migrants,” Pakhlkov was quoted as saying.

The Communists countered on their website that the “problem of illegal mass migration is a capitalist creation, which dooms whole nations to poverty and the search of a better life through laboring abroad.”

Though the Communists did not mention it in their statement, residents of outlying regions were generally prohibited during the Soviet era from moving to Moscow or other popular cities, and from working outside of their official area of residence.

Following the breakup of the Soviet Union, scores of impoverished people from Uzbekistan and other former Soviet republics in Central Asia have tried to find jobs in Russia.

Uzbek national Gyulchekhra Bobokulova, the 38-year-old suspect in this week's killing of the young girl, had been working as a nanny in the child's family.

After the Communist Party's use of graphics prompted an outcry by fellow politicians, the picture on the website was replaced with the words “Stop” and “Control” in a red circle.

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