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Russian Antifascist Activist´s Murder Highlights Increasing Hate Crime November 16, 2009

Posted by cristobalgomez in Uncategorized.

In recent years violence and hate crimes against racial and ethnic minorities in the Russian Federation have drastically increased (growing by roughly 15% every year since 2004). Due to these statistics and the increasing incidents of murders of a well-known Russian antifascist activists, authorities are questioning whether his murder was the result of Neo-Nazi (right-wing ultranationalist) activity. This past year, two well-known Russian antifascist leaders were   brutally murdered: Ilya Dzhaparidze (June 28th) and Ivan Khutorskoi (November 16th).

Paul LeGendre of the organization Human Rights First claims that now, after a long period of denial and ignorance, Russian authorities are taking action against the growing Neo-Nazi movement. Statistics reveal that, in 2008, Russia had the greatest number of deaths linked to racial motives in all of Europe: with the death toll at 109, Russia stood out far above any other European nation.

The Russian organization responsible for the monitering of hate crimes- The Center for Information and Analysis (SOVA)-has also felt the effects of increased attacks. Two SOVA leaders-center and deputy directors-were directly threatened prior to conferences concerning the issue of violence against ethnic and religious monorities. Despite such threats, LeGendre, head of a program that analyzes hate crimes within 56 countries of the OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) has a hopeful yet realistic view on Russian hate crime. Although he claims that efforts by police in the past year have helped decrease hate crimes by 20%, he still recognizes and maintains that Neo-Nazis are capable of murders within migrant groups and human rights supporters.

On the day of Ivan Khutorskoi´s death, OSCE released a report detailing the still prevalent racial and ethnic related murder incidence in North America, Europe and the former soviet Union. HRF (Human Rights First) and ADL (Anti-Defamation League) however, issued a report in response demanding that more must still be done to combat this persistant problem. To read this report, click on the link below and scroll to the end of the article.

all information found at: http://www.humanrightsfirst.org/media/disc/2009/alert/541/




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