Pro-Dzhokhar Tsarnaev posters reported in Chechnya, Kyrgyzstan
Fliers and posters urging help for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev have reportedly popped up in Chechnya and Kyrgyzstan.
In the Chechen capital of Grozny, posters refer to charges against Tsarnaev -- whose family lived in Chechnya and Kyrgyzstan before moving to the U.S. -- as “groundless.”
The 19-year-old is a suspect in the twin bombings that killed three people and injured more than 260 others during the Boston Marathon on April 15. He is in custody on federal charges that he planted one of the homemade bombs that exploded near the end of the marathon route.
His brother, Tamerlan, 26, also a suspect in the bombings, died after a shootout with police April 19.
“Dzhokhar’s parents ask you for help, to collect money for their son, whom they cannot lose, as they have already lost the older son, cruelly, unjustly,” the Grozny posters stated, according to a translation by the BBC. The message included a number to send payments to the Tsarnaev family through an online system.
It was unclear who put up the posters. Grozny residents told the BBC that they probably were the work of someone trying to profit from the bombings. The Caucasian Knot news website reported that an earlier round of fliers in Grozny, also posted anonymously, called on people to sign a petition backing Tsarnaev.
Flyers declaring “Dzhokhar is innocent, pray for Dzhokhar!” also appeared in the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek, Radio Free Europe reported Friday, citing Russian and Kyrgyz news agencies. Kyrgyz authorities said they were investigating who was behind the messages.
Tsarnaev could face the death penalty if convicted. Members of the Tsarnaev family have publicly cast doubt on the accusations against the two brothers.
“I have no doubt they were set up,” their father, Anzor Tsarnaev, told The Los Angeles Times after the Tsarnaev brothers were named as suspects in the Boston attack.
Must-read stories from the L.A. Times
Get all the day's most vital news with our Today's Headlines newsletter, sent every weekday morning.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.