October 2010. Monthly Summary

Настоящий материал (информация) произведен и (или) распространен иностранным агентом РОО Центр «Сова» либо касается деятельности иностранного агента РОО Центр «Сова».

In October 2010, one was dead and at least 16 people were injured in racist and neo-Nazi attacks (in October 2009, 4 people were dead and 28 injured). In all, from the beginning of 2010, 26 people in Russia were dead and at least 276 injured in such attacks.

In October, incidents of violence were recorded in Moscow and Moscow region (1 dead, 5 injured), St. Petersburg and Leningrad region (5 injured), Perm (at least 3 injured), and Sverdlovsk region (3 injured). In all, from the beginning of the year incidents of violence have been recorded in 42 Russian regions.

Still, Moscow and the region (13 dead, 108 injured), St. Petersburg and Leningrad region (1 dead, 40 injured), and Nizhny Novgorod (2 dead, 16 injured) face the highest level of violence. The number of victims in other cities is no more than 10.

Individuals from Central Asia remain to be the target of the majority of attacks (10 dead, 60 injured). The second-largest group of victims includes members of youth subcultures as well as participants of anti-fascist and leftist movements (3 dead, 59 injured). 

In October 2010, at least 6 guilty verdicts were issued for racist hate crimes (two in Moscow and one in each of the regions as follows: the Republics of Adygea and Karelia, Primorsky Territory and Tyumen region). 28 people were convicted and only 4 of them received suspended sentences without any supplementary sanctions. The verdict that drew the widest public response was evidently that of the Moscow city court against Vassily Krivets and Dmitry Ufimtsev. They were convicted for 15 murders and received life sentence and 22 years of imprisonment respectively.   

In all, from the beginning of the year, at least 71 guilty verdicts have been issued for racist violence. 249 people were convicted, 85 of them received suspended sentences without any supplementary sanctions.

In October 2010, at least 5 sentences were passed for xenophobic propaganda. 6 people were convicted, 4 of them received suspended sentences without any supplementary sanctions. In four of the cases, the accused were convicted for hate incitement (article 282 of the Criminal Code) (in Astrakhan, Yoshkar-Ola, Kirov (combined with conviction for public justification of terrorism), and Kursk). The fifth sentence was passed in Yaroslavl for public calls for extremist activity and ideologically motivated vandalism (articles 280 and 214 part 2 of the Criminal Code). The sentence was issued against the vandals who organized a mass graffiti action this summer writing threats on the walls against judges and members of law enforcement agencies. In such a way, the vandals wanted to support a group of Yaroslavl neo-Nazi whose case reached the local court in October. 

In all, from the beginning of the year, guilty verdicts for hate incitement (article 282) have been issued in 46 trials; 54 people were convicted, 26 of them received suspended sentences. In 5 trials 5 people were convicted for public calls for extremist activity (article 280); all of them got suspended sentences. In 6 trials 7 people were convicted under the sum of articles 282 and 280; 3 of them were given suspended sentences and 2 more escaped punishment because of the expiry of the period of limitation.

On October 14, the Federal List of Extremist Materials was updated and grew from 694 to 706 items. This time, certain materials of RussianAll-National Union (RONS), anti-Israel videos, and materials of the Caucasus separatists were included. As of October 14, four of the 706 items are withdrawn from the list with numbering maintained; 32 items are put in the list on inappropriate grounds because the court rulings blacklisting those materials as extremist were cancelled, and at least 47 materials are included in it twice.

The same day after a long pause the Federal list of extremist organizations was updated too. The joint Vilayat of Kabarda, Balkaria and Karachay and the Primorye regional social organization defending human rights called the Slavic Union (or the Slavic Union of the Far East as they call themselves) were banned as extremist. Thus, as of October 14, 2010, the list includes 14 organizations banned by courts and their activity can be prosecuted for under article 282-2 of the Criminal Code.

In the field of inappropriate enforcement of anti-extremist legislation, the trends of misuse remain the same.

Firstly, criminal and administrative prosecution of adherents of new religious groups such as scientologists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Said Nursi’s followers, etc., goes on. We should point out that the sanctions against scientologists are based on the court decision banning nearly 30 of Ron Hubbard’s writings as extremist which was cancelled on October 12.  

Secondly, the practice of persecution for political criticism as for inciting hate against ‘a social group of officials’ or other ‘social groups’ continues. The most striking event in this field was the ban of Yury Mukhin’s People’s Will Army (AVN) as extremist. According to the authorities’ statements, the main claim against AVN is the organization’s demand to change the Constitution in the way it would be possible to punish the officials up to death penalty if disapproved by the people.